Thursday, 18 February 2016
Sometimes you just have to wonder, "Why am I doing this?" I had a £10 matinee ticket yesterday afternoon to the Almeida's Uncle Vanya ... but, aaaarrggh, three and half hours of it! I was buoyed up on so much strong coffee during the intervals that I couldn't get to sleep last night. Famous faces in the cast niggled at me until I placed them. There was wotshername who eloped with the chauffeur in Downton - and Susan Wooldridge whom I would never have recognised, she looks so different from Jewel in the Crown - which was more than 30 years ago, to be fair - and the doctor, well, eventually the penny dropped, he was the nasty Redcoat officer from Outlander, and even when he got down to his underpants I clearly didn't know him with his clothes on ...
I know, I'm ashamed of myself ... all that Chekhovian ennui must have been contagious.
So when it finally ended, I'd have happily headed home - except I had to dash across town in icy-cold drizzle to meet a friend for a film. Got there just in the nick of time and the cinema was so packed that we couldn't even sit together. But the b/w 1963 adaptation of Lord of the Flies turned out to be gripping. At the end, director Peter Brook - who is now 90 and still working - walked very shakily on to the stage and gave a fascinating talk about making of the film on a very tight budget, and about his unknown cast of boys whose parents were so eager to get rid of them to a Puerto Rican island for their summer holidays.