May 10th, 2012

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Love, Love, Love, by Mike Bartlett, Royal Court

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Cut and pasted from the Royal Court Website:

Love, Love, Love by Mike Bartlett
27 April to 2 June 2012
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court

1967. Kenneth and Sandra meet, and it’s a whole new world.

A fiery relationship is sparked in the haze of the 60s, and charred by today’s brutal realities.

From passion to paranoia, Love, Love, Love takes on the baby boomer generation as it retires, and finds it full of trouble.

Mike Bartlett’s play, which won a UK Theatre Award for Best Play this year opens at the Royal Court in a brand new co-production with Paines Plough. The play was originally produced in October 2010 by Paines Plough in a co-production with the Drum Theatre Plymouth, where it opened, before embarking on a 14 week national tour.

Follow the link for the full details and to book tickets:

Raks's Reaction

I went to see this solely because Mike Bartlett, who wrote 13, was the playwright. That was so the right decision!

I just loved this and it completely and utterly blew me away. I loved it truly, madly, deeply!

The production was simply mindblowing. The acting was out of this world; special shout out to both Ben Miles and Victoria Hamilton who were simply superb. The writing was genius; pure and simple genius. The play spanned over 40 years (1967 to 2011) and was an acute observation of personal and family relationships, set against the social and political world at that time. It really captured the zeitgeist of each era. And the personal and family relationships depicted were genuine, and true, and authentic, and 100% real and believable. The play charted Kenneth and Sandra's relationship, from their first meeting, to the depth of their marriage at the point where they decide to divorce, and then finally much later on down the line when they might in fact reunite.

There are three Acts - the first 1967, the second 1990, and the third 2011. Each Act, on its own, observes the Unities ie the unity of action: a play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots; the unity of place: a play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place; and the unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than 24 hours.

Overall, the production blew me away, I will be on a high for a few weeks following this ... I just love it when theatre blows my mind.

Needless to say, the first thing I did when I got home, was get a "good" ticket to see it again towards the end of the run (I saw it today from a cheap seat in the Balcony, which is perfectly fine at the Royal Court, but I now have a good seat in the Stalls right at the end of the run so I can see it up close and personal). The New Year's Resolution I made not to see anything more than once has totally and utterly gone out the window!

A couple of choice extracts:

Act One
Sandra: All families are boring. That's why London was invented. So you can move away.

Act Two:
Kenneth: We live in Reading. Something's gone wrong.

Sandra: As you grow up, both of you, you'll learn that in love as everything else there is no such thing as a happy ending.


Round of applause for the amazing cast please!

Left to right: George Rainsford (Jamie), Victoria Hamilton (Sandra), Ben Miles (Kenneth), Claire Foy (Rosie) and Sam Troughton (Henry).
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London Theatre Highlights

My favourite things on in London Theatreland at the moment:

TRAVELLING LIGHT, National Theatre

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Royal Court

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GLOBE TO GLOBE, Shakespeare's Globe

THE CUSTARD BOYS, Tabard Theatre

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With top class quality drama like this on, there is no need whatsoever to go to a West End musical!
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Home Office Equal Civil Marriage Consultation: Have your say!

Inspired by the Peter Tatchell video I posted yesterday, I FINALLY responded to the Home Office Equal Civil Marriage Consultation yesterday. It is very simple and straightforward to complete, it is mainly a series of questions where you have to choose from a range of options, and I would encourage everyone who has a view on this topic to respond to the consultation. You can only make your voice heard if you speak up! It should take about 15 to 20 minutes to respond to the consultation. You can respond to the consultation here:
The consultation runs until 14 June 2012. Make sure you have your say!

Cut and pasted from the Home Office Website:

Landmark move towards same-sex marriage a step closer

Same-sex couples have moved a step closer to the right to marry in a civil ceremony. The Home Office has launched a consultation on how to allow everyone to have a civil marriage.

Under current law same-sex couples can have a civil partnership but not a civil marriage. The consultation sets out the government's proposals to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage. The government wants to make the right to marry in civil premises, like a register office or hotel, available to everyone.

The key proposals of the consultation are:

- To enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e. only civil ceremonies in a register office or approved premises (like a hotel)
- To make no changes to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman
- To retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage
- Civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content
- Individuals will, for the first time, be able legally to change their gender without having to end their marriage

The images I have used to illustrate this piece show clearly where I stand on this issue.

Follow the link to the full story:

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Shakespeare's Shipwreck Trilogy at the Roundhouse, London from 1 June for five weeks only

Cut and pasted from an email from the RSC:

What Country Friends Is This?: Shakespeare's Shipwreck Trilogy
Roundhouse, London NW1
1 June - 5 July 2012

'The RSC hits its stride with Shakespeare's Shipwreck Trilogy: three plays about sea storms, separation and survival. It is fascinating to follow the links between the plays.'

The epic trilogy transfers to the Roundhouse from 1 June for just five weeks only.

Follow the link for the full information, videos and interviews:

More information can be found here and you can buy your tickets here:

The Comedy of Errors
Friday 1 June - Wednesday 4 July
11 performances only

Twelfth Night
Tuesday 5 June - Thursday 5 July
12 performances only

The Tempest
Saturday 9 June - Thursday 5 July
11 performances only

Raks's Reaction

Even though this is the RSC, which is NOT at all my favourite company, I am going to go all out and recommend this trilogy.

I would like people to go all out to support the RSC in London so that they come back and so that they think about having a permanent base here again (I would love it to be the Roundhouse).

I have put my money where my mouth is - I got tickets in for Twelfth Night and The Tempest eons again.

I want to see the RSC doing Shakespeare in London (not, with all due respect, Matilda!). Please come and support the RSC in London.