Really Old, Like Forty Five by Tamsin Oglesby, Cottesloe Theatre, 30 January 2010

We were very keen on the idea of this one and booked a preview.

We are glad we did; the play was enjoyable, agonising and thought-provoking in equal measure.

Partly about the domestic and interpersonal aspects of ageing, the play also takes on questions of government policy around ageing, including social care and the potential for robots to provide same.

I make it sound a bit “everything but the kitchen sink” on the topic, because in a way it was, but in a good way. The themes do more or less come together into a coherent whole and there is an element of comedic romp about the play which allows room for some forgiveness.

It was pretty well received on the whole – a rummage through the reviews and materials yielded by this search term should satisfy your curiosity if you remain curious.

Excellent cast, well directed, well produced…

…what do you expect from the Cottesloe?

The Beggar’s Opera: Reborn, Reverb: Roundhouse, 25 January 2010

This was the second Reverb: Roundhouse concert we went to over a long weekend in January – we took that Monday off work.

This one didn’t wow us quite as much as the Joanna MacGregor one on the Saturday, but still we really enjoyed it.

In many ways this one was more star-studded, with Charles Hazlewood, Adrian Utley from Portishead, Charlie Jones from Goldfrapp and both of the Unthank sisters to thank.

It was an interesting idea to set The Beggar’s Opera with folk tunes and baroque music from Purcell and Handel. It succeeded in its own way, but perhaps, to my mind, Brecht/Weill have taken that work as far as it can go down the fusion line.

We were thirsty for more of this sort of thing at the Roundhouse, but have not since (writing in 2017) seen quite such inspired-looking programmes at that venue. Which is a shame, as we really like the place.

Still, this evening rounded off a long weekend well, at the Roundhouse

Joanna MacGregor and Britten Sinfonia, Reverb: Roundhouse, 23 January 2010

We went to two classical concerts with early music leanings at the Roundhouse in the space of three days as part of the Reverb series; we loved both.

This was the first of the two, on the Saturday.

We hadn’t seen Joanna MacGregor before, although we had heard of her. I was aware that she had been a Gresham professor of music.

There was real flare and excitement to this concert; a really interesting blend of early music, south american music and contemporary and jazz themes.

In the moment, I bought a couple of Joanna MacGregor albums on the night:

We’ve listened to these albums a lot and had a lot of enjoyment from them, although they bear little resemblance to the music we heard that night.

Subsequently I bought another one, Play, which reflected at least a couple of the items we heard in the concert.

Here is an interesting video interview with MacGregor on the Telegraph website, made just before this concert.

Anyway, the concert was lovely and left us very excited ahead of the next one, a mere two days away.

Six Degrees Of Separation, John Guare, The Old Vic, 16 January 2010

Around the time that we booked this play, I was writing the chapter of The Price of Fish, coincidentally Chapter Six, that explains the “shrinking world” theory known as six degrees of separation.

In theory, this play is all about that concept. In practice, I struggled at times to link this social comedy with the theory.

Without the futile search for intellectual insight, it was a reasonably fun evening at the theatre but a rather lightweight one. A super cast for this revival, but I’m not sure this play is worthy of a revival within 20 years, even though the world has/had changed between times.

Here is a link to The Old Vic resource on the production.

Here is a link to a search term that finds plenty of reviews, mostly indifferent ones. The consensus seemed to be that the production was excellent but the play somewhat lacking. Although neither Janie nor I had seen the play first time around, we thought that assessment was right.

Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, With Tony & Phillie, 1 January 2010

Tony and Phillie stayed with us over new year that year and we went to see this exhibition on new year’s day.

We had the idea for it when we went to the V&A with Z/Yen a few week’s earlier – an event that will be Ogblogged in the fullness of time.

Tony and Phillie really enjoyed spending the day with us and also enjoyed this exhibition – Tony especially enjoying the V&A and its artefacts.

There is a good V&A resource about it – here.

I remember being astonished by Phillie’s energy, although she was very poorly by then, as she wanted to explore some other bits of the V&A before we left.