Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UK Week 2: Mad Men and English Dogs (part four)

I headed over to the Globe to catch an afternoon matinee of As You Like It, Shakespeare's light-hearted comedy, after mudlarking along the Thames for a good long while. I wrote in my journal that I could well spend the rest of my days doing that, even though my floral duster confused a bee (also wrote that perhaps that would make for good employment, "Bees confused: 50p" but there are unlikely to be takers, I suppose). I don't know why it's so much fun idling along the banks, but it always is: watching the traffic on the river, finding interesting things among the rocks, taking pictures of the random arrangements on the shingle.

The play was a lot of fun, as always, in a really lively -- I'd even say bouncy -- production by Thea Sharrock that got the most out of the intimate setting. It was a nice surprise to see Jamie Parker as Oliver (I hadn't looked at the cast list before the show) whom I'd seen last year in The Revenger's Tragedy at the National, and of course, who was so good in The History Boys. Standouts included a very robust Rosalind played by Naomi Frederick, a very sexy Orlando played by Jack Laskey, Laura Rogers who gave Celia and Rosalind's relationship a kind of Patsy and Edina liveliness. Dominic Rowan gave Touchstone a kind of dignity that kept his shenanigans from ever getting wearing thin. I even sprang for a seat, so I was out of the sun and light rain. Great fun!

Earlier in the week (I forgot to write it up earlier) I also saw In the Loop, the Armando Iannucci film that's (kind of) sprung from his television show The Thick of It. Much of the cast is the same, although not necessarily the parts they play, and much of the action takes place in the States. I thought that would be really annoying -- an obvious ploy to make it more "attractive" to an American audience who presumably wouldn't have much interest in British politics (not that they have much interest in American politics either). But the film was very funny and the American bits weren't too annoying, and fit quite well. The thing is with a film like this, you laugh all the way through it and then later feel depressed because it's a good dissection of just how frivolously politicians let slip the dogs of war. Curse you, Iannucci for always making me think while I laugh.

Hey, I think I finally finished week two! On to week three -- er, soon. Off to Lake George tomorrow...

7 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Bestride the continent, Kate! That people might laugh unthinkingly does rather explain THREE'S COMPANY and ARE YOU BEING SERVED?...

K. A. Laity said...

You know, growing up watching GILLIGAN'S ISLAND you'd think I would have been prepared to watch a lot of crapola, but I have found it difficult to sit still for that kind of thing for most of my life.

And yes, plenty of crap across the world tv-wise. But when it comes to humor, Britons tend to have much higher expectations (some of the recent "hits" not withstanding) but an equal appetite for "reality" shows, bad soaps and various other wastes of time.

Then again, I'm someone who loves SPRINGWATCH, so your mileage may vary. De gustibus...

Patricia Stoltey said...

Entertaining posts, Kate. You're making me crave a bit of travel.

K. A. Laity said...

Travel is good for the soul! There's always a new horizon to seek.

Dana Fredsti said...

My color today is green. As in 'green with envy' over your travels...

K. A. Laity said...

Always pleased to make my friends envious :-D

What's the emoticon for Cheshire Cat grin?

=^..^=

K. A. Laity said...

A. O. Scott's review of In the Loop (which spoils the one chuckle-worthy cameo by the way) reminded me that I forgot to mention how wonderful Gina McKee is in the film. Her character Judy is perhaps the only sane person in the film and not surprisingly, the only one who has a life beyond politics. Wonderful.