Tag Archives: The Cherry Orchard

Theatre trotting in August

30 Jul

Apologies again for what seems to have been another dry season here without any theatre reviews since my chance meeting with SRB. What I’ve always found that gets me going again is when I talk about the theatre outings I have planned for the month so I’d like to share where you’ll find me at the theatre for the month of August.

3- Hello Dolly!, Open Air Theatre

This is one of my favorite musicals which had Barbra Streisand play Dolly Levi so it will be great to catch it on stage. I am looking forward to be going to the Open Air Theatre for the first time. I am seeing this with gal pal Abigail, and hopefully if it doesnt rain, John is seeing it as well. Can’t wait to sing Put on Your Sunday Clothes, Ribbons Down My Hair, It Only Takes a Moment, So Long Dearie and especially Before the Parade Passes By, which has been sort of my torch song for years now.

6- The Cherry Orchard, Old Vic

It’s my 3rd time around and it will be the last time I’ll see SRB perform onstage this year. A girl in love has got to do what a girl in love has got to do!

7- Romeo and Juliet, Globe Theatre

Confession. I have not read nor seen any stage performance or film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. But thanks to Shakespeare in Love, yup, the Miramax film that beat Saving Private Ryan for the 1999 Academy Best Picture, as it sort of introduced me to one of Shakespeare’s more popular plays. It’s a theatre outing with my congregation friends as well, and I hope that our restricted view seats will not put a damper on the evening not to mention that the reviews were also not good.

11- Blood Wedding, Southwark Playhouse

It will be my first Federico Garcia Lorca play so I am quite thrilled, not to mention that it’ll be my first time at the Southwark Playhouse as well.

13- Ghosts, Arcola Theatre

My Ibsen conquest continues! And I haven’t been to the Arcola since last summer as well, it’ll be like coming back home.

14- A Streetcar Named Desire, Donmar Warehouse

Tennessee Williams. Rachel Weisz as Blanche Dubois.

17- Jerusalem, Royal Court

Fellow theatre trotters and pals West End Whingers have been talking about how great this play is and the Royal Court just extended its run until 22 August. Chuffed that I managed to get a ticket!

20- Helen, Globe Theatre

Booked this alongside Troilus & Cressida in keeping with the Globe Theatre’s Greek theme, hope this one will turn out better though.

27- Arcadia, Duke of York’s

Touted as one of Tom Stoppard’s best plays I just couldn’t resist.

What about you, what are you seeing at the theatre in August?

Missing Simon Russell Beale

18 Jan

September 29, 2008 was the last time I saw Simon Russell Beale on stage, in the Pinter double bill of A Slight Ache & Landscape at the Lyttelton. I knew then that he was off to New York in preparation for The Bridge Project, a transatlantic partnership that unites The Old Vic with Brooklyn Academy of Music and Neal Street Productions, and that I wouldn’t see him on stage again until mid-May, and by then I would have been utterly miserable and inconsolable. The night I saw him last, was also the second time I met him, and this came about after a lot of deliberating whether I should say goodbye so he wouldnt forget me and all (HAH!) So like a school girl who had this huge crush on the cutest guy in campus, I stood outside waiting for nearly three quarters of an hour by the National Theatre’s stage door with a card to boot and now I dont even remember if I kissed him or what! All I can recall was how he lovingly held my hand for about a minute, listening intently to what I was trying to say like assuring him I would book the two plays when it comes to the Old Vic and I am sure I fumbled through it all after which he said, ah, you are always so kind, with those dreamy and expressive eyes of his. YAY!

So here I am, four months later and really missing him like crazy. And as promised I have booked my tickets for The Bridge Project alright but that wouldnt make him come home any sooner would it? As I am updating my blog and browsing through theatre news I decided to check on how The Cherry Orchard is doing and although the play itself is geting mixed reviews, I am really pleased about what the critics have to say about SRB.

According to Ben Brantley of the NY Times, Mr. Russell Beale, one of the greatest British stage actors, doesn’t disappoint, registering every ounce of guilt, joy, fear and wonder that comes from Lopakhin’s realization that it is he, the parvenu, who will inherit the earth.

Brian Scott Lipton from Theatre Mania shares the sentiment about SRB as the peasant-turned-wealthy landowner Lopakhin, brilliantly embodied by the suitably ordinary yet completely extraordinary Simon Russell Beale.

The evening belongs to Simon Russell Beale, who is magnetic as Lopakhin, a serf-turned-merchant with money and a plan to save the estate. This British star’s inherent comic quality and expressive, plummy voice rightly push the play toward comedy, says The New York Daily News.

This comment really got me though and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and please dont ask me why! Simon Russell Beale gracefully captures the graceless Lopakhin’s conflicts between his serf upbringing and his upper-class ambitions. His final scene with Varya (the equally skilled Rebecca Hall) is a heartbreaking vignette in which the two are unable to speak their true feelings as they chatter about the weather. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Enough, I can’t do this anymore! Anyway, here’s some production photos to share courtesy of the NY Times and NPR.



Well, it has to be said that I do feel a little bit better now, knowing that everything is going great for SRB across the pond. Just please come home soon! x