30 November 2006
29 November 2006
So here goes.
Item number one: The Tempest. Shortly to be appearing in London, but last week brought to the provincials in Newcastle courtesy of the RSC.
It should have been fantastic - it starred the thinking woman's favourite Star Trek Captain, Patrick Stewart, for a start. I have to say I was distinctly underwhelmed though. It had the usual RSC groovy-yet-ingenious-scenery and staging, some pretty weird music and some really good actors, but to be honest I fell asleep in a couple of places, and Mr Stewart wasn't anything to write home about. I was expecting someone with real stage presence - I've seen a couple of people (Kenneth Branagh and a very young Toby Stephens spring to mind) who were so mesmerising that you simply had to watch what they were doing no matter where they were on stage, but I just didn't get that with him. And he was a bit fond in places of the shouty hammy thing that actors do when they are attempting to get all emotional, so you can't tell what the hell they're on about. Speak the lines dear boy. Us punters in the gallery who can't necessarily see all the facial expressions and movements need to know what's happening. Or we fall asleep cos it's dark, warm and we were up at 5.30am with a teething toddler. You have to allow for these things.
Thinking of Toby Stephens reminds me of item number two: Random Quest on BBC Four. Which didn't contain Mr Stephens at all, but the lovely Samuel West instead. I know it's not much of a segueway, but I'm trying, I really am. Anyway, I saw it completely by accident - you know how it is, you end up eating your tea in front of the telly watching some mindless rubbish, stay tuned, and actually end up with something really really good. Plot wasn't amazing (it was an adaptation of a John Wyndham short story, and lacked a ballsy ending), but the whole look and feel of the piece was gorgeous - the alternative reality segments looked to have been shot in a house that could have been straight out of Wallpaper. Me wantee. Anyway, nice restrained music, great acting...it was one of those dramas that don't leave your head for a while afterwards. And it was sci-fi. Now that doesn't happen often.
Arty-farty stuff over. Toodle pip.
24 November 2006
- Get woken up at 6.30am by overenthusiastic toddler.
- Make exciting breakfast of Shreddies and milk.
- Take a walk to the park, to feed the ducks. Get menaced by starving swans, who turn out to be about 5ft 4in when stood up waving their necks about.
- Eat lunch, while attempting to avoid being smeared with Marmite and toast.
- Go to Sainsburys. Allow toddler to stand in trolley, in direct contravention of about 540 byelaws in order to go round store in less than 5 hours.
- Make tea. Sort out washing.
- Collapse on sofa in front of Home and Away.
I have to say that throwing bread at the assorted swans/ducks/geese was pretty good fun (although a bit scary due to the sheer numbers of huge birds with very pointy beaks who demanded dough with menaces). I quite liked annoying the staff in Sainsburys. And I especially enjoyed the Marmitey kiss.
And I did get to go out to a very fancy restaurant in the evening (Secco, on Pilgrim Street) where I ate my way through the Menu Gastronomico (orichette with squid! tiger prawns baked in sea salt! fig and walnut torte! prosecco!) before collapsing in a rotund heap.
Best birthday for ages, I reckon.
19 November 2006
17 November 2006
In other news, I'm currently watching the back-slapping celeb-fest that is Children in Need. Much as the cause is worthy, it makes for some really terrible tv. Lots of miming bands, awful local tv segments (sorry Wendy Gibson) and Peter and Jordan. I think I need to go and lie down. Or at least top up the glass of red wine that is conveniently sat right next to the laptop.
16 November 2006
Actually, it's been a day of religion, in one form or another. Took M to Durham, to see the cathedral, which is probably one of my favourite buildings in the world. I just love the ridiculously fat pillars, the sense of height and space, and the fact that it's warm in there when it's hurling down outside and the trees on Palace Green are horizontal. I also have rather a sentimental attachment to it, having taken David Rollason's Northumbria course in my third year at Durham and spent several happy hours pottering about looking at cathedral architecture.
No indication of the cathedral's opinions on Satan, though, which was a bit of a disappointment. Where's the fire and brimstone when you need it?
14 November 2006
Anyway, all that is a long way round of saying that I've bought a new t-shirt and long jumper (grey, no less). I'm in touch with fashion, me. But not as in touch as the sales assistant I saw in H&M, who could have have been in Grange Hill, circa 1982. She had Trisha's flicked long hair, a grey and red stripy long-sleeved top, stripy tights, and some killer dungaree shorts. Made me feel very old...
09 November 2006
UPDATE: Oh, come on boys, you're not trying. Where's the dance routine? Or at the very least a few outstretched hands? And shouldn't you be in implausibly white suits that remain spotless despite being in the most windswept and rugged location?
I will say this for them, though, they've definitely worked hard on the pouting over the last 10 years. And top marks for the artfully dishevelled hair. It must have taken days to courier over enough hair mousse for the shoot.
UPDATE II: And of course you can't beat the lovely JRT's take on Back for Good... Go JRT!
UPDATE III: I think I may have spent too much time looking at You Tube.
06 November 2006
03 November 2006
Sadly, you'll be deprived of the literary genius that was my work as I've completely forgotten what it was that I was wittering on about. I could baldly state that Calexico were very good, but it won't inspire you to go and see them as much as my late-lamented post would have done.