Fathers And Sons by Brian Friel, after the novel by Ivan Turgenev, Donmar Warehouse, 26 July 2014

The programmes hadn’t arrived, so (most unusually for the Donmar) we got a simple black and white printed A4 foldy. Standards.

The play was very good indeed, though, as was the cast. The usual high production values for the Donmar too.

A bit slow, but then this IS a 19th century Russian story and it IS Brian Friel, whom we like very much, btw.

The critics on the whole shared our enjoyment of it – click here for a link to reviews.

In short, this was a good’n.

Sarod Legacy: The 7th Generation, Wigmore Hall, 25 July 2014

Mercifully Janie didn’t go off on one of her, “isn’t that basically an Indian theorbo thing” at the sight of a sarod…

…which is a bit odd, really, because I suspect that the sarod is a much closer relative to the theorbo than Janie’s mystery punter outburst about the “basically Chinese theorbo thing” aka the pipa:

William Carter, Theorbist Extraordinaire’s Mystery Punter Outed, 24 September 2010

So how early an instrument is the sarod?

Well, if you accept that it is basically a rubab, very old indeed. And very lute-like.

Amjad Ali Khan believes that the modern form of the instrument was developed by his family in the late 18th or 19th century, seven generations ago. Amjad Ali Khan was our man of the evening (along with his kin) so who are we to argue with that.

Here is a link to the Wigmore Hall stub for this concert.

Below is a vid of a similar concert recorded a few months later, including Amjad Ali Khan with both sons who played that night in July, but I think a different tabla player. This is a truly lovely vid/recording:

We find this type of music incredibly relaxing…

…and assume it is meant to be relaxing…

…so it was not a bad thing to both nod off at times in a late night (22:00 start) gig at The Wig.

We loved this concert. revived, we also stuck around for a while to see the jazz in the bar: Dave O’Higgins Quartet – click here for listing – post bop, apparently, which was cool.

Music for a While, L’ Arpeggiata, Wigmore Hall, 10 July 2014

I could quickly and easily run out of adjectives to describe this concert…it was that good.

Our reluctance to go to Thursday evening concerts at that time (we were both still working full pelt) was mitigated by the promise of baroque music with a jazzy feel.

Also, we were both keen to see Philippe Jaroussky; he had impressed us so much on previous sightings/hearings.

Here is a link to the concert programme for the night.

It was mostly Purcell music from L’Arpeggiata’s then latest album Music For A While.

We ran into Eric Rhode that night, who (like some of the critics,, it turned out) wasn’t so keen on Music For A While. But Eric told us that L’Arpeggiata’s album Los Pajaros Perdidos was exceptional, so I procured both albums…

…and was so pleased with them that I ended up pretty much buying L’Arpeggiata’s back catalogue, all of which sounds delightful and we still listen to those albums a lot – especially Los Pajaros Perdidos, which, unlike the album Music For A While, is all about Philippe Jaroussky, who was on top form for that album.

Here is a short teaser vid which gives you a reasonable idea of the Music For A While album:

As for that concert in July 2014, it truly was a special evening at the Wigmore Hall for me and Janie.

Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans, Bush Theatre, 5 July 2014

This is the sort of play/production that reminds us why we like the Bush so much.

The play is set in Barbados and London; the play is a mature drama, full of insight into Bajan life and culture. Robin Soans has previous of course – not least Life After Scandal…

Life After Scandal by Robin Soans, Hampstead Theatre, 21 September 2007

…but this play is quite different as when we had seen his previous work it had been verbatim theatre before this play.

Here is a link to the Bush’s resource on this play/production.

Excellent cast, excellent production. Janie and I were discussing the issues and the relative merits (and demerits) of the characters deep into the weekend.

Below is a trailer:

More interesting, here is a short interview with Robin Soans and director Madani Younis:

Finally, here is a link to a search term that finds the (mostly excellent) reviews.