Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Much Ado About Theatre in London

 Oh yes!
We were so lucky to see these two great legends of theatre and film.
Up close and personal. A few rows back and center.
I have been a huge fan of these actors since I was a little girl.
So I was a bit giddy to see them live.

 photo: Court
It was presented at The Old Vic.
This beautiful old theatre was revived years ago by
 American actor Kevin Spacey.
It is completely funded by business and private donations.
They do wonderful outreach programs for schools and community.

 When I told my friend, director Chris Clark that we would be seeing this production
he said, tongue-in-cheek, "Oh, the geriatric version."
Well, let me tell you, they ran circles around the younger actors!
Vanessa Redgrave is 76 and James Earl Jones is 83.
I didn't know what to expect having seen this Shakespeare a few times,
but it was absolutely fabulous and charming.
Perhaps the favorite of all the shows we attended.

 The play was set in World War II as you can see from the costuming.
A very clever approach and it  actually made me enjoy the story even more.
It was also a very unusual take on the relationships given the ages of the actors.
None of the actors used mics which put their skills of stage projection to work beautifully.
The British are much more prudent about giving standing ovations
so you know a production is top notch when several are given.
And believe me, the London theatre scene is the best around.
It was an evening of glorious theatre.
 And though the actors did not do photos afterwards
you can see that Mr. Jones gave me his autograph:)

*Funny story: At the stage door afterwards one of the stage managers
thought Coryn was Amy Adams. Haha. 
(I think he was just hitting on her.)
Though she's been told this before:)
And in high school and college she was often told she
could pass for Emma Watson (Hermione from Harry Potter.)
Perhaps we should have used that to our advantage.

 photo: Court
We attended a play called 'The Lyons'
at the Meinier Chocolate Factory.
(Unfortunately, there was no chocolate to be had.)
It was an intimate theatre that only seated 100.
We had front row seats and I could have very well
stuck my leg out and tripped the actors as we were that close:)

 The building was historic and housed a popular restaurant
upstairs from the theatre.
Experimental plays and small ensemble pieces are presented here.
This particular play had a Broadway run a few years back.
 We did not like the show.
(The acting and production values were excellent, though.)
It was a downer and quite depressing.
It revolved around the Lyons family and their gathering at their dying father's bedside.
This was a terribly dysfunctional family.
At the end of the play, I turned to my girls and said,
"We have a wonderful family, don't we?"
The main reason we went to see the show was to see this actor.
Tom Ellis is a favorite of ours in this BBC comedy:

 Tom plays the love interest of the title character and is so charming and sweet.
I understand he was actually highly considered to play Lady Mary's new love interest
in Downton Abbey at one point.
 We also wanted to see this actor
Ben Aldridge. 

 He played Daniel on one of our favorite series
'Larkrise to Candleford'
which is often shown on PBS channels.
 If you haven't seen it you must.
A wonderful, sweet show for the whole family.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this gal was attending this same play.
She and her date sat a few rows behind us.
At the end of the play we heard her telling her date that she did not care for the play.
He, however, apparently liked it. Hmmmm.
I can only imagine that discussion on the way home.

I have heard that this actress will be playing one of the wicked step-sisters
in Kenneth Branagh's 'Cinderella' for Disney.
Interesting to note a role-reversal of sorts that will have her 'upstairs'
and Lily James (Rose in Downton Abbey) 'downstairs' portraying Cinderella.

1 comment:

M-Z-T said...

I am jealous! Ug! James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave?!