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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p
Concert: Barenboim plays Bach

Sunday Afternoon caught Daniel Barenboim playing Bach's Preludes and Fugues from Book 1 of 'Das wohltemperite Clavier'. Translated that is "the well-tempered keyboard". The first hour were numbers 1-12, then after intermission there were 13-24.

It was a sellout concert given Barenboim's mega-star status. There was a long queue waiting in vain for returns. Inside the hall, it was just him, the Steinway and the preludes and fugues.

On stage there was magic. There was also a bit of tapping and fancy footwork, which initially was a bit distracting. The hands may do the hard work, but the rest of his body seemed to be locked in a constant struggle with the counterpoint. I didn't have the best vantage point and wished I was sitting on the other side so I could see his hands (rather than the body of the piano) but I guess you can't have everything...

He has just released a CD of this as well, which he was signing at the end of the concert. I assume that with the amount of tapping onstage that he must have worn shoes with rubber soles in the recording studio.

I do think there is a limit to the amount of Bach one can take in in an afternoon and during the second half of the concert my mind began to wander. Scanning the audience I noticed that I wasn't the only one getting restless as there was some serious fidgeting and moving about going on. Running into a colleague from work after the concert there was agreement with this sentiment. I had to go home and listen to something less pretty and complex. So I passed on the signing of his new CD, leaving hundreds of others waiting in line...

And then...

During the Bach concert while my mind was wandering I decided that I would give the memorial service for D that was on today in London a miss. There is nothing like Bach to get your mind straight and your thoughts in order...

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