I’ll start with the obvious first: as others have blogged it was the Secret Vegetarian Festive Dinner on Saturday night – and what an amazing party it was! The fairly recent tradition of holding ‘dinner parties’ during the holidays continues to snowball in scale and a full thirteen people made it to Abbi’s house including her Aussie friend (the lovely Jen) and Saoirse’s boyfriend, otherDominic, who deserves much credit for jumping into a perhaps ever so slightly intimidating situation. (I distinctly remember a group of us gathering on the sofa after they had left to discuss how cool he was, so it clearly paid off.) We also played Secret Tikoloshe, a South African Secret Santa-esque game but with more stealing of presents, from which I emerged with a beautiful goose (?) from Joshua: thank you! And loads of thanks to Abbi (for the house) and Saoirse (fort the food) and everyone (for the company) too
(There was some recovery needed, on the other hand. Lucy and I both managed to avoid actually being sick that night – although it was a close-run thing – but were clearly tired enough to spend much of Sunday playing Monopoly…)
Right, the plays!
- Hamlet – Wednesday afternoon – Yes, I was lucky enough to bag a ticket at the last moment to go and see (not) David Tennant in Hamlet. I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest, though: it brought out plenty of Shakespeare’s wit and depth (aw, Shakespeare!) plus had Patrick Stewart being awesomely evil as the villainous Claudius. And it’s interesting how having studied the play – and thus knowing exactly what’s going on despite the slight language barrier – really did add enjoyment rather than boredom.
- August: Osage County – Thursday night – We saw this as a family and were all struck by the incredible emotional journeys undergone by the actors each night in a play that’s almost as long as Hamlet. There isn’t any family that isn’t somewhat messed up but this Oklahoma clan have their problems distilled and concentrated: great fun to watch and well worth seeing if you can.
- Loot – Friday night – So finally, Lucy and I saw this at the venerable Tricycle Theatre and it’s probably the hardest play to pin down, although discovering afterwards that it originated in 1965 explained a few things. A darkly comic farce, I wasn’t sure about it until the introduction of Inspector Truscott (David Haig): a character who stands head and shoulders above the others in both writing and performance and totally stole the show. Of course, no modern audience is going to be shocked by a satire against the British police and indeed there was one very funny moment when a man sitting behind us jokingly stood up as the national anthem was played before the curtain opened: much mirth all around, but it does rather demonstrate that Loot is no longer going to quite have the same sting as it once did. Still, a great show!