Tag Archives: Othello

Theatre trotting in October

29 Sep

Would you believe it but I actually saw ALL six productions that I booked in September? Not to mention the Michael Ball concert I saw at the Royal Albert Hall. I suppose I liked the good mix of shows and also because it didn’t leave me too exhausted to miss any of them. I even saw one of the productions twice! (Clue, it’s a musical!) I can’t believe time has flown and we’re nearly towards the end of the year!

October also looks promising- a couple of plays, a musical, even two operas! It will also be a little bit special as a friend who is visiting from Seattle will join me in two of my theatre outings. So without much ado, this is what I will feast my senses on next month:

1 – All’s Well that Ends Well, Olivier, National Theatre

I already saw this way back in May and absolutely enjoyed it. The Evening Standard had a 2 for 1 deal for just £10 and it’s also the same evening that they are doing the NT Live Performance so I couldn’t resist! I’m also dragging my pal Sue along with me. But we have to be there on time though as audience have to be seated by 18:45.

3 – Othello, Trafalgar Studios

I organised a Shakespeare outing at the Globe in August to see Romeo and Juliet, in my humble opinion the play was just about right, it was far better than Troilus and Cressida though. I was tasked to organise another outing this time to see Lenny Henry’s take on Othello which has already done a UK tour and current stop is London.

5 – Annie Get Your Gun, Young Vic

Not a West End Whingers outing of this Irving Berlin musical starring Jane Horrocks.

8- Turandot, London Coliseum

The first time I saw Turandot, which was in 2006, I was mesmerized. I was also in love and I thought it cannot get any better than this. I have seen a few more opera since but so far, nothing has beaten this Puccini favourite where the music soars, it feels as if you were being flung into the heavens. I’ve loved most productions the ENO has produced and I am sure I will love this version too.

12- ENRON, Royal Court Theatre

Okay, I adore Samuel West since Persuasion and this will be the first time I will see him perform on stage. I went to see Harley Granville Barker’s Waste at the Almeida last year which he directed and the man was a genius! It was one of the best plays I saw last year. I do like to see more of his work as much as possible and with all the accolades ENRON is getting, it’s now West End bound at the Noel Coward Theatre after this run, I am already assured of a fabulous evening.

20- Rigoletto, London Coliseum

It’s my very first Guiseppe Verdi of a much loved classic. My friend Carmi who will be in town is going to join me. I think this will be a first for her, so better make a good impression!

25- Inherit the Wind, Old Vic

I LOVE Kevin Spacey. That’s the only reason you need to see any production and after glowing reviews from fellow theatre trotters the West End Whingers and JohnnyFox, I am so psyched to see this play. Equally thrilled is my friend Carmi who is also a huge Spacey fan. Did you know he is also on Twitter? Follow @KevinSpacey.

Right, your turn!

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Playwright Spotlight: William Shakespeare

20 Apr

I have said somewhere on this blog that I was averse to Shakespeare because no matter how hard I tried, I can’t seem to understand his plays.

I had been to the Bard’s hometown in Stratford-upon-Avon, and my intimate relationship with the man was the souvenir fridge magnet and The Little Book of Shakespeare quotes. My first exposure to his work was the 2004 film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino as Shylock. It was my young friend Bizarro who convinced me to watch the film, although I didnt need much convincing as Pacino was a good enough reason to give it a try. The experience wasnt too bad at all, I actually really liked that version and was really moved by the events that transpired. But there was still no yearning desire to follow through.

I have had discussions with friends who loved Shakespeare’s work and it wasnt until a work colleague and friend, who’s also a huge theatre afficionado said to me late last year that Shakespeare’s plays are meant to be watched more than read. I was quite keen on watching Ian McKellen in King Lear so I bit the bullet and booked the RSC’s production last year and was gobsmacked by it. The Arden adaptation which came as a gift from the same friend helped eased the pain in understanding the language. I had wanted to book the Donmar’s Othello but I was one of those who were trying to book tickets all day only to be told it has sold out.

So from watching a highly distressing and tragic Lear I moved onto another Shakespeare production, this time the light hearted Much Ado About Nothing staged at the Olivier’s National for their winter offering and boy did that feel good too. Having enjoyed myself so much I bought the play text in the National bookshop and finished reading it the same evening. Since then I have joined the RSC as associate member and I am now looking forward to the staging of Hamlet, Love’s Labours Lost when it comes to the West End at the end of the year, and the Donmar West End’s Twelfth Night. The Regents Park Open Air Theatre productions for the season includes a hefty serving of the Bard with Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and then of course you’ve got the Globe Theatre with King Lear, Timon of Athens and The Merry Wives of Windsor. There’s also A Winter’s Tale to look forward to in Spring 2009 as part of The Bridge Project and there’s also the RSC Histories currently running at the Roundhouse that got sold out by the time I wanted to book tickets.

So what’s the verdict for Shakespeare? To quote Simon Russell Beale in an interview for Much Ado About Nothing, he said, he’s just the best. I have only seen 2 productions so far but I will have to agree with him. Does the Doctor Who Season 3 Shakespeare Code episode count? I wish!