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Love is all you need: The Island @cervantesthtr

A drama set on the seventh floor of a non-descript hospital waiting room may not be everyone's idea of a great night at the theatre. But love and all other forms of the human condition are dissected in Juan Carlos Rubio's The Island. Translated by Tim Gutteridge, it feels like everything is up for grabs. What is love? Is it a bond between two women with a fifteen-year age gap? Is it the love between a mother and her son with a severe unknown disability? A wonderful life full of health and happiness is not always an option on the menu, and the choices may become a bit less palatable. Throughout a series of sometimes banal conversations, what comes out is a story of two women with lives that are separate and together. And while the piece becomes darker on one level as it progresses, it never ceases to fascinate and draw further insights into the couples. It's currently playing at the Cervantes Theatre .  A couple waits in a hospital waiting room for the outcome of an accident

Theatre: A Moon For The Misbegotten

In keeping with an intensive week of theatre (since Si was in town), we caught a preview of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon For the Misbegotten at the Old Vic. It is the opening play for Kevin Spacey's 2006/07 season. Spacey has received a lot of flak in the press for his artistic direction over the last two years at the Old Vic, but this play is going to knock everyone's socks off. Everything about the production was fantastic.

Of course O'Neill has written a great story. You are drawn into their story around the relationship between the father and daughter still living on a run down farm, and their landlord and friend(?) who may sell the farm to them, or he may sell to a neighbour who is offering more… From there the story unfolds…

Eve Best in the central role gave an incredibly engaging performance. Spacey and Colm Meaney were also fabulous. The play was so full of life and the performances were so enjoyable that the audience members who hadn't passed out from the heat gave the cast a standing ovation at the end.  At this point I would advise to potential theatre-goers to the Old Vic to avoid alcohol until after a play as the theatre has no air conditioning and gets incredibly warm. In the circle where I sat, people were leaving (or rather staggering out) because of it.

Still they missed a great play. It is in previews until next week but I suspect it will become the must see play this autumn. Spacey was also in the news this week selling the most expensive tickets to the play in an auction for Bill Clinton's charity. At £130,000 for four tickets, that must set a new West End record…

After the play Si and I were both in agreement about it. I thought was probably a good antidote to Daddy Cool, the other show he saw that day. Daddy Cool is a musical set to the music of Bony M and if that isn't bad enough, features some dull star from Eastenders. The show also includes an enormous parrot which hangs in the dome of the theatre. Si didn't stick around for the second act so he couldn't tell me what it did, but in the first act it just was in the ceiling, and very visible to everyone. What a parrot is doing in a jukebox show set in multicultural London is anybody's guess I suppose. It opens on Thursday this week… Maybe the papers will explain it then…

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