Log in


Opinions on theatre. I have them.

Apr. 20th, 2013 | 09:08 pm

I have another theatre review blog post up if you're interested:  Mrs. Warren's Profession!

 I also have a couple still in draft from plays I saw weeks and weeks ago and got preliminary thoughts written down but was too busy writing grant application and marking essays to finish writing up.  I should get back to those, because King Lear was awesome, and so was Krapp's Last Tape (and I had the unique experience of not wanting to move enough to dislodge the banana peel that got thrown on my foot).  :)  (Why is it that the Shakespeare play I really didn't like when I read it is the one I've been so lucky to see outstanding productions of?)

Something that I didn't mention in the review:  The play was good enough that I forgot my back hurt for two hours.  And that's really saying something, considering that the seats in the Gate are not what you'd call comfortable seats.  (And I say this while having very strong opinions about the set design and what the director shouldn't have done.)

Link | Leave a comment | Share



Jun. 6th, 2012 | 06:40 pm

In honor of Ray Bradbury: my favorite of his short stories. I first came across it in Cricket Magazine when I was tiny, and it haunted me until I finally found it again in his collected stories. He was a legend who influenced so many people. May he rest in peace.


Link | Leave a comment | Share


Rian and Donka: a Letter to Chekhov

Oct. 8th, 2011 | 01:02 am

And the previous post there was from what I saw last Friday.  This evening, I got a 10 euro standby ticket to see Fabulous Beast Dance Company's Rian

And now for a rant and a video . . . Collapse )

Link | Leave a comment | Share


16 Possible Glimpses

Oct. 7th, 2011 | 11:58 pm
state of mind: contemplativecontemplative

So.  16 Possible Glimpses.  The first night of actual performances.  Not opening night, but the first preview performance of the world premiere, so there will probably be some changes still.  What do I think? As often happens with Marina Carr's plays, I come out thinking I really need to contemplate it more and wanting to see it another time before I can really say something meaningful.  There's always so much in them.  They're dense, in a good way.  Richly layered and highly symbolic, leaving me with a feeling of depth and power.  It's "a series of dialogues and domestic scenes" rather than a more traditionally written play with a linear plot and unified narrative, so it takes up until nearly the end for the shape of the play to reveal itself.  The first scenes and last scenes link and you come full circle.

16 Possible Glimpses has been 10 years in the works.  donnaustin thinks it's the best Marina Carr play he's seen yet.  (I'd probably lean more towards Woman and Scarecrow for its sheer power and poetry. But, I think 16 Possible Glimpses would probably balance very well with Woman and Scarecrow as two sides of facing death.) It's definitely more accessible than some of her other work.  I mean, it's a Marina Carr play without incest and/or suicide.  It's gentler than most of her other plays.  It's beautiful, tender, and full of humour. and it's more clear than ever that she sees death as very much a part of life, not as an ending.  There is a soul-guide character in this play, like the Ghost Fancier in By the Bog of Cats or Scarecrow in Woman and Scarecrow, but Chekhov's Black Monk is even more clearly a friend.    It's very clear that she loves Chekhov, and that she sees him as a great soul.  That would have been obvious even if we hadn't attended a talk before the play in which she totally geeked out about Chekhov in interview.

Technically, it's very interesting.  In the pre-show talk, Carr made it very clear that the title is non-literal.  "Why 16 Possible Glimpses?  I like the number 16, I like the word possible, I like the word glimpses."   There aren't sixteen scenes, there aren't sixteen cast members, it was just a number she liked for the title. She focused a lot on the word "possible" as a reminder that she wasn't writing a literal biography either, but a response to "her" Anton Pavlovich Chekhov  (I like "her" Chekhov").  But the "16" and "Glimpses", I think, come into the technical side of things.  16 is a nice, large number for plurality, and what Carr and director Wayne Jordan have done is give you multiple visual perspectives using cameras projecting different angles of what is happening on stage on the backdrop and occasionally on a scrim in front of the action.  16 may not be literal, but we were definitely literally given multiple possible glimpses.  Sometimes it worked better than others, and some of the cut scenes were a bit distracting, but some of those will probably have been ironed out by the time previews ended.  Sometimes it was stunningly effective dramatically speaking.   On a bit of a tangent, there seem to be two emerging trends at the festival this year: site-specific theatre, and the use video projectors (blah blah blah multimedia experience).  I'm a little resistant to both, not because I think they're a bad thing, but currently they seem to be way too faddish. And like many things that are faddish or overused, they're often used to use them and not because they are the best technique for the desired effect.  And often, the logistics are just not thought out well enough and it distracts from the effect.  Here, though, the use of projected video really did seem integral, and it I think it added layers and depth to the overall experience.

So yeah.  I loved it, and I want to see it again.  I'm going to post this now because my browser has been a bit dodgy today and I don't want to lose the post.

Link | Leave a comment | Share


The Lulu House

Sep. 29th, 2011 | 11:20 pm
state of mind: thoughtfulthoughtful

The Dublin Theatre Festival has opened, and la_richella and I have seen our first of the season.  The Lulu House, featuring Lorcan Cranitch and Camille O'Sullivan, and directed by Selina Cartmell (who directed, among other things I've been blown away by, both Woman and Scarecrow and the production of Sweeney Todd we saw at The Gate). 

Review-type blather . . . Collapse )
It wasn't completely satisfactory, but I'm glad we went.

The next two are both Chekhov-inspired: a new Marina Carr play and a full-on circus-type extravaganza with acrobatics and stuff.

Link | Leave a comment {2} | Share


Because it's April and Easter week, and I love John Donne...

Apr. 22nd, 2011 | 01:32 pm

Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward. BY JOHN DONNE


Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,

The intelligence that moves, devotion is,

And as the other Spheares, by being growne

Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,

And being by others hurried every day,

Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:

Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit

For their first mover, and are whirld by it.

Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West

This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.

There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,

And by that setting endlesse day beget;

But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,

Sinne had eternally benighted all.

Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see

That spectacle of too much weight for mee.

Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;

What a death were it then to see God dye?

It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,

It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.

Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,

And tune all spheares at once peirc'd with those holes?

Could I behold that endlesse height which is

Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,

Humbled below us? or that blood which is

The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,

Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne

By God, for his apparell, rag'd, and torne?

If on these things I durst not looke, durst I

Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,

Who was Gods partner here, and furnish'd thus

Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom'd us?

Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,

They'are present yet unto my memory,

For that looks towards them; and thou look'st towards mee,

O Saviour, as thou hang'st upon the tree;

I turne my backe to thee, but to receive

Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.

O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee,

Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,

Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,

That thou may'st know mee, and I'll turne my face.


Link | Leave a comment | Share



Dec. 25th, 2009 | 06:53 pm

Happy Christmas everybody!

Link | Leave a comment | Share


Someone's having fun today.

Oct. 30th, 2009 | 08:24 am



Link | Leave a comment | Share


Anyone in San Diego?

Oct. 17th, 2009 | 02:33 am
location: Nowhere near San Diego

I'm not there to counter protest, but you might have the time.  The Westboro Baptist Church, aka that freakish group of hatemongers from Kansas that picket funerals, are picketing all over San Diego this weekend.  They get disproportionate amounts of media attention (this and the lawsuits they apparently slap everyone they can with seem to be the main reason they do this), but humorous and peaceful counter-protests seem to do a good job of giving the media something better to focus on.

This is the schedule from their website (www.godhatesfags.com).  Please don't go there.  It's disgusting and made me feel ill to look at the hateful language spewing forth, and I had to cut a lot of horrible, hateful language out of the addresses to put them in this format.  If you have any time, maybe make a silly picket sign and gather a few friends?  Or just pass the word if you can.

10/17/2009    08:10 AM - 08:40 AM    San Diego, CA    Congregation Beth Am -  5050 Del Mar Heights Rd.
10/17/2009    08:55 AM - 09:25 AM    San Diego, CA    Chabad Center of University City - 3813 Governor Dr.
10/17/2009    09:30 AM - 09:55 AM    San Diego, CA    Congregation Beth Israel -  9001 Towne Centre Dr.
10/17/2009    10:10 AM - 10:40 AM    San Diego, CA    Temple Emanu-El -  6299 Capri Dr.
10/17/2009    1:30 PM - 2:00 PM    Carlsbad, CA    Chabad at La Costa - 1980 La Costa Avenue
10/18/2009    07:00 AM - 07:30 AM    San Diego, CA    Our Mother of Confidence - 3131 Governor Dr.
10/18/2009    08:00 AM - 08:30 AM    San Diego, CA    St. Michael's Catholic -  2643 Homedale
10/18/2009    08:00 AM - 08:30 AM    San Diego, CA    Maranatha Chapel -  10752 Coastwood Rd.
10/18/2009    08:30 AM - 09:00 AM    San Diego, CA    Horizon Christian Fellowship -  5331 Mt. Alifan Dr.
10/18/2009    09:30 AM - 10:00 AM    San Diego, CA    Rock Church -  2277 Rosecrans
10/18/2009    09:30 AM - 10:00 AM    Carlsbad, CA    La Costa Resort and Spa -  2100 Costa Del Mar Rd.
10/18/2009    10:00 AM - 10:30 AM    San Diego, CA    College Avenue Baptist - 4747 College Ave.
10/18/2009    10:30 AM - 11:00 AM    San Diego, CA    New Hope Friendship Baptist - 2205 Harrison Ave.
10/18/2009    10:30 AM - 11:00 AM    San Diego, CA    Our Mother of Confidence -  3131 Governor Dr.
10/18/2009    10:45 AM - 11:15 AM    San Diego, CA    St. Stephen's COGIC - 5825 Imperial Ave.
10/18/2009    1:15 PM - 2:00 PM    Carlsbad, CA    La Costa Resort and Spa - 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd.
10/18/2009    6:30 PM - 7:00 PM    San Diego, CA    Rock Church -  2277 Rosecrans
10/19/2009    06:40 AM - 07:15 AM    San Diego, CA    Rancho Bernardo High School -  13010 Paseo Lucido
10/19/2009    07:30 AM - 08:00 AM    San Diego, CA    San Diego Jewish Academy - 11860 Carmel Creek Rd.
10/19/2009    08:30 AM - 09:00 AM    La Jolla, CA    Hillel of University of California San Diego -  8976 Cliffridge Ave.
10/19/2009    10:15 AM - 11:00 AM    Carlsbad, CA    La Costa Resort and Spa -  2100 Costa Del Mar Rd.

"If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen."  (1 John 4:20)

Link | Leave a comment {3} | Share


Are they INSANE!???!

Sep. 13th, 2009 | 12:41 pm
state of mind: shockedshocked

So, we were walking from the really nice crepe place (South side)  to the cinema (North side), and as we were exiting the Temple Bar, we heard someone on a bullhorn.  "What's going on?," we asked ourselves, and then we noticed the people lining up along the quay.  "Maybe it's another Great Rubber Ducky Race," we said, and we crossed the street to look . . .

Ew! Ew! EWWWW!!!Collapse )

Link | Leave a comment {2} | Share