The Caretaker

By Harold Pinter
At the Old Vic, London

The Caretaker

So my campaign reaped dividends and Team Family headed down to London two Saturdays ago to not only enter the doors of the Old Vic for the first time, but also take on some Pinter. This is something you should always be prepared for…says she who’s only seen one other before…so a great statistical test here.

When I say prepared, I don’t mean take a fresh change of clothes or get your hair done, what I mean is you’re going to do some big thinking, be challenged and need to talk about it afterwards. And that’s just a start. You’ll also need top shelf actors, if you’re like me and find it near impossible understanding thinking person’s scripts without the help of action. Thankfully the chaps whom are currently taking on the roles at the Old Vic are Olympic standard, so I was onto a winner.

Coming clean. So I didn’t really set out to see a Pinter as such, I set out to see Timothy Spall on stage and then was blown away when I read further that the cast would also include Daniel Mays and George MacKay. So life just got a little better and I needed a ticket.

These three couldn’t have made a dark funny and slightly disturbing play anymore convincing. The unspoken is disquieting; the switching of alliances by Davies (Mr Spall) depending where he sees his bread as buttered is pathetic, but at the same time pitiful, riveting, and makes you wish he’d just cut the bull and recognise that Aston (Mr Mays) is a good mate. And Mick (Mr MacKay), terrifying and perhaps the most unpredictable character I’ve ever witnessed. From his threatening foot on chair flexible lunge near the beginning of the play, through his nice understanding moments, to his thick and fast and fabulously delivered words…oh and scary, I repeat scary, expressions. Not only I am lining up to purchase tickets to his next play – I’m also above grateful that I haven’t encountered anyone like him in real time.

The play is long, but not bad long, rather Iet’s say ‘value for money’ and the length only aided my opportunity for thinking time; afforded me greater quantities of material to store for later; and a fistful of conversation starters for the train trip home. Additionally, I kind of (OK, really), like exploring people’s issues (pretend people’s issues that is), for it’s all at a safe distance, I’m not personally involved, so whatever is debated or decided upon in my thinking and talking time later, sits suspended in the beautiful hypothetical, where I’m not wrong and all things turn out OK.

It’s on until 14 May 2016

(thanks to google images for photograph source)

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The Handle Bar Café & Kitchen

The Handle Bar Oxford

Shame on me and all parts of me for not discovering this sooner. Apparently it’s been there for five years and I only wandered down their street late yesterday afternoon and heard the happiness bounding out of the first floor windows.

It serves great coffee, food and booze – really – and they’d no doubt feature in the
What to do if you have only 24hrs (or 2hrs) in the Oxford edition of Wallpaper Guide.

It’s bright and light and warehousey, filled with chatter and old bikes hanging from the ceiling and some very friendly (but not in a creepy way) staff.

Imagine a little Berlin in your own backyard. Nice!

Upstairs at the Bike Zone
28-32 St Michael’s Street
Oxford

(image sourced at google images)

Hot Gossip…but not the usual sort

Hot Gossip

Strange as it may sound, I’d never come across the visual pleasure and dynamic moves of Hot Gossip until mid last evening. Thanks goes then to a half bottle of wine, the entreats of a husband full of memories and youtube, for we moved swiftly from watching the Village People’s gifted video ‘Sex over the phone’, to a truly speech-stopping, eye-popping demonstration of what Britain had the joys of watching on prime time during the 1970s-1980s.

I ask now, what happened?

For this stuff impresses, shocks and suggests. The telly show makers during the years of my younger life here, (though sadly I wasn’t here), were really pushing the barriers and clearly from my husband’s happy memories, were cheering up particularly the pre-teen box watching crowd.

Some advice. If you aren’t over 45 or didn’t live in this country then, firstly prepare yourself and then type youtube into your search engine and then search for Hot Gossip. Alternatively, if you were living here and are over 45, please do the same.

You won’t be disappointed – it’s a very entertaining anthropological study.

(image sourced from goggle images)