The Stock Da’Wa by David Eldridge, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, 22 April 2011

David Eldridge plays are like buses – you wait ages then two come along at more or less the same time – this was two David Eldridges in a row for us.

I think this was the first production we ever saw at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, quite early in the era of Ed Hall using that downstairs space for experimental works.

It was the evening of Good Friday; an unusual night for a theatre visit.

No formal reviews down there of course, but a few informal ones and other resources through the search term linked here…

…e.g. There Ought To Be Clowns Blogspot – click here.

I remember we thought this was a very good production and made a mental note to seek out subsequently the Hampstead Downstairs, which, by jingo, we have done.

The Knot Of The Heart by David Eldridge, Almeida Theatre, 16 April 2011

This was a challenging play about addiction and the impact of those with addictions/addictive personalities on their loved ones.

Lisa Dillon was superb in the lead; it seems the lead part was pretty-much written for her. As usual at the Almeida, it was a well-chosen play, extremely well acted, directed and produced.

Islington Almeida Theatre 2011
David Eldridge was very much on our watch list as a writer; we’d seen a few of his that we really liked, not least his adaptation of Festen at the Almeida.

I must admit though, we both found this a tough watch. Perhaps it was too soon after Phillie’s passing for us to be suitably sympathetic to a character whose misery and tragedy seemed largely self-inflicted. But it was undeniably an excellent evening’s theatre.

Here is the Almeida resource on this play/production.

Below is a good trailer with quotes David Eldridge and Michael Attenborough commenting:

The play and production were (deservedly) very well received by the critics – here is a search term that finds reviews and other relevant resources.

Extremely powerful stuff.

Mr Corelli In London, The English Concert & Maurice Steger, Wigmore Hall, 4 April 2011

What a beautiful concert this was.

I love a bit of Corelli under almost any circumstances, but these adaptations of Op 5 concertos for the recorder have an especially soulful and melancholy  timbre.

In the absence of Janie, I snapped up one of the CDs during the interval, as I was so sure she’d love the sound, which she did. We still both listen to this recording rather a lot. Indeed we are listening to it as I type.

Also available as a download now, from Amazon (click the pic) or elsewhere

It isn’t all that often that book to go to the Wigmore Hall on my own. But I really liked the look of this concert and Janie really didn’t fancy a special trip into town on a Monday evening, even for the Wigmore Hall. She was, at that time, normally still working long Monday clinics at her place.

The diary suggests I had worked a long day myself that day, ending up at Lord’s late afternoon, perhaps for a meeting about the Middlesex business plan. I’ll guess that it was the day of the AGM and that I therefore skived the Middlesex AGM that year for this concert.

What dedication to the early music cause and oh boy was it worth it.

The little available on-line about this concert and project can be found through the search term linked here.

The upshot of Janie missing out on this one was probably, in the longer term, good news. Since then, if I say that I shall nevertheless go alone to a concert that I really fancy, Janie usually then relents and agrees to come with me.

Wastwater by Simon Stephens, Royal Court Theatre, 2 April 2011

We do both like a bit of Simon Stephens. We’re also partial to Linda Basset’s acting. This piece reminded us why on both counts.

We actually thought it was brilliantly acted and produced throughout.

Here is a link to the Royal Court resource on this play/production.

Three seemingly different stories that sort-of overlap and sort-of don’t. It’s hard to explain why, but Simon Stephens has a way with drama that simply keeps you gripped and thinking throughout.

Here is a very interesting behind the scenes short film from Sky Arts, including interviews with Simon Stephens, Linda Basset and several of the other cast and creatives, about Wastwater:

Royal Court – Wastwater from daniel bougourd on Vimeo.

Here is a link to a search term for reviews and other resources. The reviews are not universally great – some rated it very good, some rated it poor and cold-hearted.

We rated it very highly.