The Dream and Chicago

Same format of a couple of plays and nowt else, but that’s it for a while. I couldn’t resist going to see midsummer night’s dream in London, but floods and delayed trains and terrible weather and standing traffic conspired to make me ponder not going, but I wanted to see this play, and I made it just in time. What a venue – The bridge theatre is new to me, reached by walking across the still breathtaking Tower bridge, and there it is sat on the river’s edge. Rather splendid, and inside was a bit like an oblong royal exchange. the plan had been to stand, cheaply, and be involved in all the immersive aspects of this particular production – hmm, I had distinct second thoughts about that and upgraded no problem at all, and got a much more cohesive view of all the action. An odd space actually, feeling more like an arena than a theatre. Many public stood in the pit and were marshalled out of the way as furniture was wheeled on and lifted up on a complex system of lifts. Most of the floor seemed to be lifts. That worked well for my view point, and there was Gwendoline Christine, from GoT, right in front of me, draping herself from a silk hammock, trailing acres of green silk. The twist in this production and there were many was that it was Titania who put the flower in Oberons eyes and thus he fell in love with Bottom, and what joyous scenes those were. The bubble bath between Oberon and Bottom will long stay in my memory. Lots of gorgeous images, the mechanicals play scene became much about the experience we were watching – immersive and improvisational. Puck had great fun with the audience, and he was certainly more agile than my Puck – but oh those lines and speeches. I still never tire of them. So much of Shakespeare is about theatre itself and the necessity of such fulfilment. I was so glad that I made the effort to get there and to see Gwendoline. Her Oberon matched her for beauty as well, both enormously tall striking actors.
The next night, back at the sale waterside, still feeling the echoes of our Rigoletto, I saw MYT’s Chicago. I’ve felt a little Chicago’d out recently, mainly because everyone seems unable to think about copying the fishnet approach, but joe had brought plenty of new ideas and staging, and his cast and band were extraordinary. I love that they do it in eight intense days rehearsal. No time to get bored, and it certainly becomes an event and not a chore.
Bob Fosse and Gwen verdon are certainly everywhere at the moment -on an eight part series on the BBC and Gwen had her own documentary – it’s been a joy seeing the behnd the scenes of such iconic numbers as the cabaret ones. and i’m glad more people are getting to hear that glorious croaky voice – the croak came from swallowing a feather hidden away in the cupboard in sweet Charity.
I think at the Garrick that we are getting somewhere with the live events at the Garrick. a lot of work, and a lot of obstacles thrown my way – it’s almost like doing a job.
I’ve been mulling over with friends on how to not just make money from my experience, which would be good to be sure, but actually more about passing it on and not letting it all go to waste when I’ve gone. working on that.