Paul is in London... And keeping social distancing
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Scenes from the streets of London...
It is a bit hard to work out why they have this sign outside of the Aberdeen Angus Steak House in Soho. Perhaps they now are selling tube steak. Then again, nothing like a bit of saucy humour to take your mind off what they pass for the menu...
David McVicar's oddly modern production of Rigoletto is back at the Royal Opera House.
This modern and minimalist dark production has evolved over the years. It is better lit now but there is still an orgy and full frontal nudity within the first thirty minutes. This enables anyone not in the stalls an excellent view of a flaccid penis and a nicely shaved bush. But as time goes it seems more and more superfluous to the main focus of this tragedy of a court jester who seeks revenge. Here is hoping that the production continues to evolve...
Conductor John Eliot Gardiner keeps the music well paced. Dimitri Platanias in the title role sounded great and received a rapturous applause for his interpretation of the role. You get a sense more of the doting father rather than the court jester or cursed man here.
Vittorio Grigolo plays the Duke and sounds too lovely to be the cad the role calls for, but it is hard not to like when he is on stage anyway. And it is easier to understand the…
Athena Stevens takes her experiences with an airline that damaged her wheelchair and refused to pay for a replacement into a sharp and an incisive piece on how discrimination affects disabled people. The incident led to her confinement in her flat in Elephant and Castle for months while she tweeted about the experience and gained media attention. And was called a scrounger by the usual band of internet trolls. It’s currently playing at the Finborough Theatre.
It's an exciting piece of storytelling that puts you in her shoes. Stevens is a detailed storyteller, and she expertly covers the everyday ordeals that people with disabilities face. From the passive aggressive remarks uttered by flight attendants to friends who have trouble thinking that Elephant and Castle is a part of central London. It's all told with humour, warmth and a healthy amount of outrage.
While the case was eventually settled, she explains as far as her non-disclosure agreement allows, how people, including…
There’s something reassuringly contemplative about Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. No matter what humdrum life you may be leading, at least you haven’t gone mute from too much acting. It’s not the only message to take away from this stage adaptation. Even when things seem lost in translation from screen to stage, the blurring of lines of the roles people play in life still resonates. It’s currently playing at the newly reopened Riverside Studios at Hammersmith.
The piece centres around a famous stage actress Elizabet (Nobuhle Mngcwengi), who has stopped speaking and appears to have had some form of breakdown. As part of her recuperation, she travels with a nurse (Alice Krige) to a remote summer beach house. Alone with the waves and silence, they both are left to recover.
Krige and Mngcwengi create an intimate and engaging portrayal of this ambiguous relationship between the actress and the nurse. Are the conversations real or imagined? Who is the patient and who is providing the treatment?…