Janie didn’t like this one at all.
I rather liked it in parts; far more so than Albion – Mike Bartlett’s most recent play at the time of writing (November 2017), also directed by Rupert Goold at the Almeida.
The conceit of the play is a Shakespeare pastiche, imagining a future King Charles III stumbling into a constitutional crisis with the government. (Three and a half years on, that scenario seems more likely than it did in April 2014, but I’ll leave that thought to one side).
That Shakespeare pastiche style worked in places but grated on me at times.
This was to be our last sighting of Tim Pigott-Smith, whose fine acting we enjoyed many times over the years. The whole cast was good and it was magnificently staged and produced.
Here is a link to the Almeida resource on King Charles III.
The play/production got mostly rave reviews – this search term will get you to the bulk of them.
Below is the trailer they used when it was up for a Tony:
We’d really enjoyed Spur Of The Moment by the ridiculously young and talented Anya Reiss the year before:
Spur Of The Moment by Anya Reiss, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 3 August 2010
…so were keen to give her another try.
I don’t think this one worked quite as well for us. Yes, there was still sparkling wit to the dialogue. But basically this play was yet another drunken gathering descending into chaos comedy.
Excellent production qualities with top notch cast and creatives, as we expect from the Royal Court, but not top drawer Royal Court to our taste.
Here is a link to the Royal Court resource on this play/production.
This search term should find you reviews and other resources on this play/production.
We’re still hoping to see Anya Reiss progress to greater things on the stage. Plenty of time; she was still only 18 for this one.
After the previous evening’s debacle at Hampstead…
Ecstasy by Mike Leigh, Hampstead Theatre, 18 March 2011
…it was a very pleasant surprise that Janie felt better and confident enough to try the theatre the very next day.
A very interesting play about climate change, questioning orthodoxies and asking awkward questions about the links between the politics, science and personal beliefs around climate change.
A search term that finds the mostly good reviews and more besides can be found by clicking here.
Not sure what we did afterwards – probably got Janie home to bed pdq.
What a grim evening of theatre this turned out to be.
The only ungrim thing about the evening was bumping into George Littlejohn and his good lady in the foyer before the show and then again in the interval. I have known George since 1994 when we met, for reasons that will only be explained to you if you click here, at the 1994 inaugural Accountancy Awards. Only click if you find pompous awards funny; don’t click if you take them seriously.
The play is about young upwardly mobile Viennese trainee doctors in the 1920’s, who should have been among the most happening people on earth were it not for their unfortunate juxtaposition with time and space (i.e. 1920’s Vienna) and their existential angst.
Janie and I hated the first half of the play and resolved not to stay for the second half. I’m not saying that it was either going to be members of the cast, or us, or a mixture of those two cohorts, but suicide was clearly on the cards during the second half. We made absolutely certain it wasn’t going to be us.
Unfortunately for George and his good lady, they had some sort of connection with someone involved in the production, so they stayed for the second half. We wished them luck as we waved them goodbye.
The irony of the bad straplining of that last piece will not be wasted on George Littlejohn, who was at one time the editor of Accountancy Age, no less, but has since managed to exceed even those giddy heights.
Despite their ordeal, sticking out the whole evening, I am pleasantly surprised, indeed delighted, to report that both the Littlejohns seem hale and hearty at the time of writing (January 2017). Janie and I ran into them both again at the Curzon Bloomsbury on New Year’s Day 2017 – click here, which triggered this memory and hence this write up.