February 6th, 2012

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The true love of my life ...

Obviously, none other than the National Theatre! and all who sail within it!

Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_National_Theatre,_London.jpg

Note that the building has gone RED for Valentines!

With Valentines Day fast approaching, I thought NOW was the time to give this a fresh outing! It is a piece I wrote about a year ago to explain why I was obsessed with the National Theatre and why it will always have a very special place in my heart.

Ode to the National
by Rakshita Patel

I fell in love with you the day I walked through your doors for the first time. That was in 1989. You were so welcoming. You made me feel right at home. You had me at "Hello". I was a 19 year old student and you were one of the first London theatres I visited.

I keep coming back to you year after year and I now find that it has been over 20 years that we have been together. I love you truly, madly, deeply. You are buried deep in my heart. I walk through your doors and I am walking on sunshine. You make me happy. You fill me with joy. You are my safe haven. I love you. There are far too many great times I have had with you over the years to individually catalogue them all, but you have brought me so much joy and pleasure over the years that I will be eternally grateful to you.

This is actually so hard for me to write because I am shaking and choking with emotion just thinking about you, and the effect that you have on me.

And I am coming to see you tomorrow - hell, as you know, I pretty much come to see you every day of the week!

I am in awe of you. I respect you. You never let me down and you always blow me away. I am so sorry that I am totally and utterly incapable of expressing in words what you mean to me. But you are in my heart. And you know full well what you mean to me so I guess I don't have to explain any further.

To my beloved safe haven, my sparkling red ruby on the South Bank, you are the best thing that ever happened to me (bar my husband of course!). I worship at your altar.
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Twelfth Night by the Swivel Theatre Company

The Swivel Theatre Company: Classic theatre … with a twist

I spent today (Sunday 5 February) with the Swivel Theatre Company Twelfth Night cast, crew and production team, at the Cockpit Theatre observing rehearsals. The rehearsals are going very well and the production is now coming together and really shaping up.

This is a photo of our Viola (Carolina Main) and our Malvolio (Tibu Fortes) in rehearsals last month. The scene is Act II Scene II, the infamous "ring" scene.

SCENE II. A street.

Enter VIOLA, MALVOLIO following

Were not you even now with the Countess Olivia?

Even now, sir; on a moderate pace I have since
arrived but hither.

She returns this ring to you, sir: you might have
saved me my pains, to have taken it away yourself.
She adds, moreover, that you should put your lord
into a desperate assurance she will none of him:
and one thing more, that you be never so hardy to
come again in his affairs, unless it be to report
your lord's taking of this. Receive it so.

She took the ring of me: I'll none of it.

Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her
will is, it should be so returned: if it be worth
stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be
it his that finds it.


I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her!
She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord's ring! why, he sent her none.
I am the man: if it be so, as 'tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper-false
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master's love;
As I am woman,--now alas the day!--
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie!


A Moroccan Twelfth Night at The Cockpit Theatre in March 2012

Twelfth Night returns to the London fringe with a Swivel Theatre Company production. Set in the late 1920s Morocco, Swivel’s unique interpretation will be a feast of live music, traditional dance and raucous laughter. Booking is now open so get your tickets in now!

You can now book your Twelfth Night tickets online at:

You can also book tickets by calling The Cockpit box office on: 020 7258 2925 (lines open 12 till 6, Monday to Friday).

Follow the link for all the details:

Swivel Theatre Company

Swivel Theatre Company is a new theatre company, based in London. Our mission is to produce classic plays in a new and dynamic way, to make the plays more accessible to the general public. We are a group of young professionals, who are passionate about theatre and who want to share our love and enthusiasm for the theatre with others.

The Swivel Theatre Company website is here:
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Coriolanus: Official UK Trailer

Photo credit: http://www.flicksandbits.com/2011/11/11/new-uk-poster-for-ralph-fiennes-coriolanus/17936/

For people who have not yet had a chance to see the film, here is a brilliant taster, the official UK trailer:

Cut and pasted from the BFI website:

A clever contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's play of political power and intrigue, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes.

An impressive, muscular version of Shakespeare's sometimes overlooked play about power and political pragmatism. The setting - 'a place calling itself Rome' - is a recognisably modern Balkan warzone, and writer John Logan skilfully adapts the Bard's words for more contemporary phrasing. Fiennes takes the role of Coriolanus, the war hero turned politician whose abrasive and autocratic personality does not endear him to the masses. Striking a fine balance between action and political intrigue, Coriolanus is a clever contemporary adaptation, and a most accomplished debut.

My review is here:

But, in a nutshell, this film is a masterclass in how to place Shakespeare in a contemporary setting and not lose one iota of authenticity or compromise a sliver on fidelity to the text.

Luckily this is still playing in a few selected cinemas in London and I intend to see it once more on the big screen before it leaves cinemas for good, purely because of the beauty and the poetry of the verse-speaking across the cast; I can really learn how to use Shakespeare's language to its most powerful effect through watching and learning from the actors here.