January 12th, 2012

Raks New Profile Pic Square

The Comedy of Errors, National Theatre

Photo credit: http://www.ntposters.org.uk/image/781521/the-comedy-of-errors

I saw this tonight (Wednesday 11 January).

I will be honest. I was not at all excited about it, even though my friends who had seen it, and theatre buffs whom I trust, had all said it was excellent.

The reason is ... I don't really like the Shakespeare comedies with happy endings. I much prefer the Shakespeare tragedies packed with heartbreak and despair, murder and death. The ones where all the key characters die at the end. I think that tells you more about me than about the plays!

However, I LOVED this adaptation. It was set in contemporary London and all the key parts - father and mother, the two twin sons and the two twin servants were all played by Black actors, all of whom were excellent. The adaptation was strong on laughs and slapstick and the full range of humour, but it managed to be touching and moving when it needed to be eg the reconciliation scene at the end, where the family and the two sets of twins are reunited.

Spoiler Alert - Skip this paragraph if you want
The best bit for me (which totally surprised me and took my breath away with its audacity) was when - in the manner of the helicopter landing on stage during Miss Saigon - they had a real ambulance drive on and off the stage during the production, complete with flashing lights and siren. Gob-smacking!

I had gone along, convinced that I was not going to like this (I have never seen a production of The Comedy of Errors before, and nor had I read through the play in advance as I normally do with Shakespeare that I have not encountered before; I had only read it up in my quick and easy guides to Shakespeare's plays). But I was proved wrong! I love it when that happens!

Due to the humour, the slapstick and the fact that it is well and truly played for laughs, this is also a good Shakespeare production to take young people along to if you want to give them a taste for Shakespeare, and show them that he is relevant to the here and now, and can speak to today's audience about today's world.

Highly recommended.

I will repeat the promo for it when it gets its NT Live on 1 March.
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Chasing Cotards, starring Andrew Scott

Photo credit: http://twitter.com/chasingcotards

Sometimes, believing your dead….
is easier than knowing your alive.

First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to yvaine24 for telling me about this short film. I was completely oblivious to its existence until she told me about it.

Having seen this short film, I just HAD to write a review promoting it. I took more notes on this short film (with a running time of 13 minutes) than I do on most full length feature films.

The film affected me and moved me, very deeply and profoundly.

It is about a young man whose wife has died and focuses on him, two weeks after her funeral. The film explores the reality of grief, as experienced by the new widower.

His life is in shreds, and is suggested by the chaos in the room, eg heaps of post piling up and clothes strewn and scattered across the room.

From the film, this is what I thought he was feeling:

The inability to do anything else or distract yourself eg reading,
The inability to deal with daily life and daily activities,
The feeling of falling apart at the seams,
Anger at how and why did this happen?,
Despair and hopelessness,
The feeling that life is absolutely and utterly pointless and futile without that person, whom you loved so deeply and cared about so much,
The feeling that you are unable to carry on with life,
The searing pain of loss, and
All consuming grief.

His wife reappears, and he has to say goodbye for the final time and let her go. He is letting go of something that he loved above all else in the world. The feeling conveyed is that of wanting something that you had, and have lost, back. But that is impossible. The pain of losing that person again is unbearable. The scene is heart-breaking.

Andrew Scott conveys in his face and, critically in his eyes, very powerfully the feelings of unbearable pain and all-consuming grief.

I am not a widow. However, I connected with this film very strongly because I have been through a separation and a divorce, and the feelings of pain, grief and loss, are very similar. Definitely, when my husband left me, I felt very strongly the feelings of falling apart and being unable to carry on with, or face, life anymore.

If I had to sum this film up in a line, I would say that it is a beautiful Shakespearean sonnet about love, loss, and grief; about a cherished love, lost and gone forever.

Highly highly highly recommended.

Follow the link to the Chasing Cotards website to get all the details, watch the trailer and download the film:
The Biggest Short Film of All Time (literally)

Photo credit: http://www.sloaneuren.com/
Andrew Scott SIB

Andrew Scott

To my way of thinking you can never have too much Andrew Scott, so here he is..........

Found these today in various locations and traced them back to the original photographers web site, so that is the link I am giving you. I think they were taken in March last year, but I'm not 100% certain of that. Oh and Raks, there's also pics of Tom Chambers on this website as well.

If you click on each pic you get a much bigger version of it in my lj gallery




And this one is from today's Independent newspaper/website, which also has a really good article about Andrew.


All of these are wonderful, and he looks amazing in all of them, but I particularly like the one from The Independent.