September 30th, 2011

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the faith machine, Royal Court

I promoted this at the end of August - I had not seen it at the time but it sounded interesting and it was at the Royal Court, THE place for new writing, so I recommended it on that basis. My original plug for it is here:

As I was seeing this right at the end of its run (it closes on 1 October) I had no intention of writing about it. However, I saw it tonight and it would be impossible for me NOT to write about it!

the faith machine by Alexi Kaye Campbell

To summarise, I thought this piece was f**king outstanding. It spoke to me on so many levels. What was it about? Integrity, being true to yourself and living life by your principles, faith and what it means to you, relationships, love (of the truest, deepest kind), loss and longing, regret, politics, injustice and fighting injustice, greed, capitalism, the New York lifestyle, 9/11, selling out, losing your soul, deep father/daughter relationships, gay rights, old age and the accompanying disintegration of mind and body ... I could go on and on! Anyway, I loved this!

I want to give a HUGE shout out to the writer and the whole of the cast - the acting across the whole of the cast was superb - all the actors were excellent; there was not a single weak link.

Choice extracts:

"Saying: "Stop! Stop where you are! Stop right there! Cease being what you are for just one minute and reflect a little, pause for just one millisecond before you simply react in haste and instead ask yourself in all honesty the imperative questions: "How did I get there? Where am I headed? Why has this happened?""

I did that 2 months ago! I stopped. I looked at where I was and what I was doing. And I did ask - how did I get here and where am I headed? do I want to carry on or change direction? what am I doing? what am I achieving? what do I want to do? where do I want to go? !

Agatha, recounting what Sophie had said to her:
"Against all empirical evidence and rational enquiry I continue to believe in the human being".

I too believe in the human being and humanity in general. Before I became a Christian, I was most definitely a Humanist as well as an Atheist.

"For what good shall it profit a man shall he gain the whole world?".

The full reference is of course the following:
King James Bible
Mark 8:36
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

I wish more people in this world would reflect a bit more on that phrase and seriously consider whether what they are doing in the pursuit of money and power is actually worth it, especialy if it involves trampling over, and in some cases destroying, others.

There is a lot of meat in this piece, and plenty of food for thought. For me, the whole attraction of the theatre is that it makes you think. This production does that in spades. Highly highly recommended!

To read more about the production follow the link:

The Royal Court website is here:
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Strictly Come Dancing returns tonight (Friday)

Strictly Come Dancing is one of my favourite tv shows. It returns at 9pm tonight (Friday) for its 2011 run. The second show will be at 6pm tomorrow (Saturday). 14 celebrities will be strutting their stuff and competing for the Strictly crown. Who is your favourite to win?

Welcome back Bruce and Tess!

Follow the link to the official BBC website:
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the faith machine, Royal Court

In tribute to the faith machine, which I saw yesterday and which I thought was outstanding, I have decided to post the following photo which features as many of the key cast members as possible:

Left to right: Hayley Atwell as Sophie, Kyle Soller as Tom, Ian McDiarmid as Edward and Jude Akuwudike as Patrick.
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My reaction to the faith machine is here:
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The Tempest

I am returning to The Tempest.

Another of Mychael Barratt's excellent limited edition prints features Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano. Here it is:

Picture credit:

And here is the equivalent from the current production of The Tempest playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket:

Photo credit:

My reaction to the current production is here: