Inadmissible Evidence by John Osborne, Donmar Warehouse, 29 October 2011

I recall looking forward to this play/production a great deal, but not enjoying it as much as we had hoped.

Douglas Hodge was terrific in the lead; indeed all of the supporting cast did well too.

I think it is just a bit of a mess of a play. John Osborne works best for me when his angry, ranting lead has more context than their own small world. The Entertainer and this play lack that context for me, becoming almost lengthy monologue rants.

This production got rave reviews – click here for a search term that finds them – so our disappointment was a minority view.

I also recall us finding the audience a bit irritating the night we went. I think Douglas Hodge and Karen Gillan had attracted a bit of a TV-star-sycophant crowd, which has a tendency to deflate our mood at the theatre.

In truth we were reaching the end of our road with the Donmar by then. For a long while it felt like a slice of fringe in the heart of Covent Garden, but it was starting to feel more like an exclusive, corporate club for West End theatre in a small house.

They made a movie of this play back in the 1960s, soon after it was first seen on the stage – below is a vid with a clip of that. Nicol Williamson – there is an abbreviated first name to conjure with – John Osborne considered him to be “the greatest actor since Marlon Brando”, apparently…a tough act for even Douglas Hodge to follow, I guess:

Jumpy by April de Angelis, Royal Court Theatre, 22 October 2011

We really enjoyed this play/production. It was witty, enjoyable and made us think too.

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

Tamsin Greig was terrific, as was Bel Powley as the daughter. Actually the whole cast was terrific.

Here is a search term that finds the (mostly excellent) reviews.

It got a deserved West End transfer to the Duke Of York’s – here is the trailer for that:

I’m not sure the trailer does the piece justice, but there you go.

The Last Of The Duchess, Nicholas Wright, Hampstead Theatre, 21 October 2011

We quite liked this play. I recall it was an excellent production, very well acted and directed, but it had a slightly old-fashioned feel to it…

…perhaps that was the effect Nicholas Wright and Richard Eyre were after.

In truth, not really our sort of play. But it covered an interesting, almost comical, moment in history and we had the benefit of a superb cast to depict it.

So we were glad to have seen it, despite it not really being our type of play.

The reviews were pretty much universally good. Here is a link to term that should find all of them.

Byrd: The Popish Organist, The Cardinall’s Musick, Wigmore Hall, 7 October 2011

Oy! Are You Looking At My Byrd?…

…was not the title of this concert by The Cardinall’s Musick…

…although Andrew Carwood does always give his concerts a title. Perhaps he’ll use my suggestion some time soon.

Still, this exceptional group of singers tends to fill the Wigmore Hall whenever it appears, for good reason.

Here is a link to the on-line programme of music for the evening.

We’d seen them perform before and had even previously seen one of their concerts at which Andrew Carwood explained the sectarian political backdrop to the music in those Tudor times…

…it must have been like the politics of Brexit but with capital punishment in place of the earhole bashing.

No wonder these Tudor composers took solus in lamentations and such Jeremiad material.

As usual with such concerts, it was fascinating to hear the contrast between the lesser and the better known composers; Tallis and especially Byrd being the better known and better represented composers on the night. The better known fellows deserve their status in my view; certainly for this type of music.

Here (click through for more details) and below is a vid taster of The Cardinalls Musick singing Tallis Lamentations and other such sacred works:

A wonderfully relaxing concert at the end of a busy week at work.