Tuesday, 15 November 2016

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
There couldn't be a better stage for a play set in Restoration London than the Theatre Royal, Haymarket: okay, not quite old enough to be precisely accurate but still one of our oldest theatres, with bawdy wenches selling oranges in the stalls as we took our seats. It looked fabulous by candlelight and there was the added excitement of seeing Ralph Fiennes a few rows in front of us ...
But, oh dear, the play ... now I can imagine that John Malkovich must have been terrific when he played the role of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester - The Libertine. But Dominic Cooper didn't really cut it - and the play was terribly long and wordy, could have done with losing a good half hour - and half the time you couldn't hear what they were saying - and that awful woman at the end of the row chomping through what seemed to be a packet of biscuits didn't help - I suppose noise from the pit is historically accurate but the crunch-crackle-slurp of all those plastic bottles of water drives me mad. It's SW1 not the Sahara and I don't imagine that dehydration will set in before the interval ...
Anyway, I'm afraid, the inevitable happened. I got a teeny bit bored, I rested my eyes ...
Don't think I missed much. The reviews for this play have been very mixed. We decided it was worth going for the ambience if not the play. And a preview of truly beautiful Christmas lights on Regent Street ...


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4 comments:

Veronica Cooke said...

Sorry about the play, Mary, but those lights look fabulous!

I watched NW last night and really enjoyed it - it was a bit depressing, but I didn't find the book so. Most of all I enjoyed seeing the area where I grew up, on the TV...

I also watched the Stephen Poliakoff thing last Sunday night but found the protagonist's manner of speaking so artificial and annoying I don't want to watch anymore!

Hope your week is going well

Veronica
vroni60s.blogspot.com

Mary said...

The lights were lovely, Veronica - such a nice change from horrible commercial ones they've had in recent years.

It took me a couple of episodes before I got into the Poliakoff. I agree it's very mannered - wouldn't be to everybody's taste, but give me a bomb site and a blackmarket in toffee apples and I'm hooked!

Lucille said...

Oh Mary! I am driven to very bad behaviour when seated behind chompers, swillers, hair twirlers, talkers, fidgetters, phoners.
We treated ourselves to tickets at the Met to see Don Giovanni. Had to leave at the end of the first act because of the couple in front of us.
I actually tried kicking her seat, but she didn't notice. She was old enough to know better. It was only when her husband got up and left before the interval that we got any respite from her constant movement. But by then it was too late. I dreaded him coming back in.

Mary said...

They are impervious to glares, Lucille! At the Opera House, even ice creams aren't allowed into the auditorium - and people seem to respect it. Why can't they do it elsewhere? It's the water gluggerswho irritate me most - like beasts in a stall with a bottle! How did we ever survive in the days when you waited until you got home and put the kettle on! And even as a child I remember that the chocolates (that's old-fashioned isn't it?) were only passed in the interval.