A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night's DreamSo it’s been nine days since Team Family gobbled down fridge sandwiches on route to Stratford and it’s been nine days since I misplaced the programme so sadly I can’t play the individual call-out game for special services to acting by members of a cast, but I can tell you – Oberon has a commanding stage presence and wears a spectacular white trouser suit (different cut to Mephistophilis); Puck couldn’t have been cast better; and the Fairy Queen not only convinces but distracts with her enviable beauty. And the acting troupe (inside the acting troupe), who form to treat Theseus on the occasion of his marriage were outstanding, highly entertaining and had the audience eating out of their palms.

We all laughed – lots (not just Team Family, but the rest of the theatre congregation which excitedly was a high mix of lively younger folk). We understood and engaged – for the performers gave their all. And we were left jubilant, for nothing comes close to having a fabulous cast delight and absorb you.

Go see it and take children, as many as you can, for this is a wonderful production, which interests, thrills and engages all ages.

On until 16 July 2016.

(image sourced at google images)

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Doctor Faustus

by Christopher Marlowe – by the RSC
Stratford-Upon-Avon

Dr Faustus

It’s disturbing, creepy and convincing.

I could stop there, but I shan’t.

It’s a great cautionary tale and this production, currently running in the Swan, will keep your eyes firmly forward, for not only do the staging, costumes and music, keep you alert…whilst you travel down a very dark path…but the performance delivered by the ensemble is so unsettling that you dare not look away for you might miss the oh so comfortable Mephistophilis in his evilness (and fabulous white trouser suit), or the sheer torment and titillation experienced by Faustus as he maintains his contract with the devil.

The Director’s representation of the demon within us is unnerving and provides substantial material to discuss whilst driving home post production and lunching over a couple of glasses of wine (or water…your choice) the next day (and maybe some coconut and white chocolate dipped edible sticks).

From the starting scene of a mirror image, to the switching of speeches between both Faustus and Mephistophilis, you start to question where the evil really is and perhaps it could be in us all…(please not me)…It makes you pause…reassess…hopefully won’t give you nightmares…but is sure to make you delight in the power and impress of performance theatre and get you being a little less lecherous….for a minute at least.

Showing until 4 August 2016

(image sourced from google)

 

Clever Girl

By Tessa Hadley

Clever Girl

Just in case you haven’t heard, Tessa Hadley is a pretty fabulous writer and one that I continue to fall for the more I read.  She can not only make a story better just by being involved in the crafting of it, but she is capable of communicating it to you, vividly, holding you at each point, involving you without overwhelming you with unnecessary and unsophisticated ploys to trap the reader – like sentimentality or forcing you to sympathise with the characters. She just tells it how it is.

I picked up Clever Girl a couple of weeks ago and I intentionally avoided gobbling it down.  I wished to savour it and I’m glad I did, for this novel was always with me, and I could reflect on it whilst doing other things. I didn’t need to be reading it, to be enjoying it.

You follow Stella throughout, from when she’s small – when she thinks and sees and acts like any 10 year old – to when she’s older, experienced and softened.  For me it felt like you ended up with several stories in the big story, connected by the same the voice, but initially a younger voice which brilliantly evolves as she grows and learns through life.

Additionally, I found my relationship with Stella (yes, you’ll find it too), one where she was happy to share, unthreatened by my possible judgement.

The style is refreshing, frank and original. It’s not often that a character or person will do things and tell you things, which don’t hold them in the rosiest of lights, for fear of causing offence, or receiving in return a big serving of disapproval, but this doesn’t seem to bother Stella. She’s truthful, real and a modern day heroine.

Go find a copy, take on the pleasure of reading a cleverly constructed tale and see the world through Stella’s eyes.

(Imaged sourced at google images)

Zoolander 2

Zoolander 2

Team Family grabbed a bumper serving of delicious silliness thanks to Ben Stiller last night with his latest gift to the Big Screen. It’s a crazy, colourful, shriek-laughter, convulsion-making production with cringe-worthy performances, impressive cameos and some fabulously courageous outfit choices.

The action is instant and continual, and the storyline is in a league of its own making. For it’s original, audacious, unbearable, and compels you to clap loudly, squeal and foot stamp when the stupidity gets too much. So you’ll end up making a lot of noise.

Additionally, you won’t be disappointed, rather astounded by Justin Bieber; perhaps choke on chuckle tears as you recover from a scene between a Centaur and Naomi Campbell; and dream up ways that you too could look like Penelope Cruise – if only you had a red leather zip-up motorcycle suit, super thick fringe and perfect brown eyes.

And…Derek Zoolander’s so sharp it’s astonishing; Hansel’s internal and outward struggle with his Daddy issues not only instructs but entertains; and Derek Junior’s canary yellow jumper will leave you urgent for a more colour-filled clothes palette in your life.

It’s nutty, satirical and unique – go have a laugh.

 

Image sourced at google images