by Eugene O’Neill (at The National Theatre)…
may have been my favorite thing of all. The play made a big impression on me when I read it– in 1979 (ha)– as part of survey course on O’Neill… I’ve always loved it but it sure seemed impossible. It’s not! It’s hysterically funny, seems O’Neill must have meant for it to be so… and moving, powerful, full of brutal, cut-to-the-quick lines. It was magnificently acted, only that way could it have worked so well.
by Lucy Kirkwood (at the Harold Pinter Theatre) needs a good deal of rumination. Not as beautifully acted across the board, but this Chinese actor was amazing, and the play surprised, and got at our complicated relationship with that country, posited things that,as I say, I’ll think about it for some time. Amazing set, too…
Such a nice time with our friend and former Q Board Member, Hilary Robinson. Her town, St. Albans, is beautiful! Here are some more photos from the trip!
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” Based on novel by Mark Haddon, Adapted by Simon Stephens
How to describe The Curious Incident??? It’s a gorgeous play. The acting job by a young man and entire company was incredible, especially the two who play his parents. It was a production created by light, miraculously so. Remember those panels we had in Mnemonic? They were brand new to CMU, possibly we used them before the school did. It must be latest technology. The 3 walls and stage floor were completely made of these panels, done to look like a giant graph (the kid in the play is a math genius). All surfaces are programmable LED, so anything could appear on all surfaces and did. I don’t quite know how to describe to do justice!
AND just for the miraculous fun of it, after curtain call, the kid comes back out and tells us how he solved the equation to win his A levels… Introducing the tech geniuses and then his explanation was illustrated in a million ways on these lighted surfaces. I WISHED Q Lighting Designer Todd Brown was with me– I want him to see this production so badly!
Wanted to share a few shots of the beautiful scenery, art, monuments in Edinburgh…
Outdoor theatre… enchanting, isn’t it?
Monument to Sir Walter Scott. I read Ivanhoe as a little prep for the trip!
Wonderful land art on the grounds of Museum of Modern Art.
P.S. the exhibit of Peter Doig at the National Gallery was incredible.
At the Royal Botanic Gardens. Lots of beautiful places for outdoor theatre…
The most amazing Beckett… The festival is basically over, or given over, to a final week of Beckett, including many symposiums and other things.
Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
We saw Michael Gambon perform Eh Joe directed by Etom Agoyan, Penelope Wilton was the unseen Voice. Incredible. Also Barry McGovern performing I’ll Go On. These both from The Gate, reinforcing what I once said to myself after The Gate’s Waiting For Godot- it’s so definitive that that’s it for me, I won’t see the plays again. Funny, I feel like this about no other theatre or writer… That the once is it.
More of Edinburgh
DILEMMA by Olga Kosterina at the Hill Street Theatre
Amazing things at the Fringe! We saw a dance performance by a Russian woman named Olga Kosterina, piece called Dilemma… There was room for maybe 50 people. I have to say she was the most amazingly elegant, precise, acrobatic dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. It won ‘Best Choreography’ at the Rome Theatre Festival in 2012… One of those things you stumble onto and can’t believe it.
Also Jethro Compton’s The Bunker Trilogy… 3 1 hr shows, we saw Macbeth (others were Agamemnon and Morgana). We were in a room maybe 20′ x 30′ with 50 people packed on wooden benches on all 4 sides– meant to resemble a low-ceiling WWII bunker– it did. Four actors performed a shortened Macbeth. UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. Side note: it was probably 100 degrees in there. Ana said she was too hot to concentrate and couldn’t follow the plot for what they’d cut. But for someone who knows the play, it was remarkable, fantastic.
Off to see Peter Doig at the National Gallery and Beckett tonight and tomorrow!
More beautiful Edinburgh pics…
THE EVENTS by David Greig
The Events by famous playwright David Greig… super strange. A community choir- emphasis on community- they were meant to be as unremarkable and uncomfortable looking as they were (no pleasure there). Two actors: one is the choir director, a PC type who’s choir was meant to be a healing, ‘we accept all’ sort; other actor played a shooter who went into a community center and shot a lot of people. Choir director found herself fleeing to the music room where she came upon one little girl. Shooter comes in and says “I have one more bullet, which one of you?”
The play was often fascinating but not successful for me, except in the way it makes you ask what is theatre for?