Sunday, February 07, 2010
This week saw two trips to the Royal Opera to catch the final performances of The Rake's Progress, an opera by Stravinsky and directed by Robert Lepage and Dalston Songs, a song cycle written by Helen Chadwick.
Stravinsky's Rake is inspired by the paintings by Hogarth, although the action here takes place on the west coast of America during the 1950s. It is a pity that it didn't take its modernisation a bit closer to the present day as then the tale of green might have had a bit more bite... As an opera it does tend to drag a bit (all that neoclassical window dressing), but what it lacks in focus and brevity it sure made up with the performances and the stunning production design. The moral of the story summed up very nicely in the epilogue was that the devil makes work for idle hands... Obviously for idle operas it doesn't matter so much when they look this good...
Saturday night's performance of Dalston Songs was a different affair. There were no fancy set pieces or flashy projections. Instead the set looked like either a community hall or a internet / phone cafe. I was glad I was sitting close to the action as from the upper levels of the Linbury Theatre it looked like it was half built. Eight performers in everyday dress sang a cappella and danced about the life and musings about home from the people who live in Dalston, a north east part of London. The songs were interrupted with recordings of people from Dalston talking about their life. The recordings seemed unnecessary as the music and the performances had a life of their own. It will be interesting to see where this show goes next as it deserves further outings...
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Monday, February 01, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
The Silence of the Lambs is a movie that calls out for a parody... At least to take the edge of some of its more intense moments. Therefore it was with much anticipation that I ventured to Above the Stag theatre in Victoria to see Silence! the musical. For anyone who has seen the Silence of the Lambs more times than they care to remember, this is a great little musical that doesn't disappoint, which even bases its main theme on what the composers call a "pleasant major mode variation" on Howard Shore's Silence of the Lambs theme. This production in the intimate (or cramped) Above the Stag theatre is full of fine detail from the movie, such as Jodie Foster's inexplicable accent, her lesbian relationship with her roommate, and her cheap shoes...
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
The Tate Modern's Pop Life exhibition finished today. Basically it was a collection of minge from the seventies onwards with a few bits of Warhol thrown in for good measure... While there was some attempt to put it all into the context of "it seemed like a good idea at the time", it was a pity there wasn't some of this interview with Jeff Koons describing how his then-wife Cicciolina expressed herself with her shaved vagina. This interview was filmed without irony at the time they created the Made In Heaven works that made up one room of the exhibition...
After a while of looking at the artworks (or pornography) it was almost enough to make you want to run away from it all and see some real art... Well at least not art that you could have created yourself with some nifty clippers, a Gillette disposable and a compact mirror. But if you missed it, an intrepid reporter captured it all on Youtube... And at about the speed it should be seen. Tate Shots with Jonathan Yeo also gives it a good wrap up as well, standing at one point strategically in front of something very large and very naughty indeed...
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
- Talking about the winter spirit that evokes memories of the blitz. Since when is Jack Frost a Nazi?
- There really is community spirit after all... Although this only occurs after people realise the government is not going to do something for them first...
- Fear of running out of grit. Birmingham will run out in 48 hours. Death will ensue after.
- Take matters into your own hands and clear a pavement. And then you will be sued.