Yes, it's August, so time I wrapped up my recap of June! Week two was so action packed that I cheated a little, because I'm starting week three with Saturday which is not entirely kosher, but oh well. I hit a matinee of The Winter's Tale that day. Most of the evening performances were sold out, as were almost all performances of The Cherry Orchard, which I had been wanting to see (Stoppard's adaptation of Chekov's play) as well. The same cast was in both plays, always an interesting feature.
It was really here, watching Simon Russell Beale as Leonides talk himself in and out of a jealous rage, that I finally articulated the thoughts that had been in my head since the week before about Shakespeare selling capricious plot turns with wonderful speeches, something I need to consider using. Sinéad Cusack was wonderful -- no surprise -- but so was Ethan Hawke as the oozingly slimy Autolycus, which was more of a surprise. I'm not too sure about the Oklahoma! vibe Sam Mendes gave to the sheep-shearing fest sequence, but hey, it's always good to try new things.
At the Globe I got an "Exit, pursued by bear" badge :-D
Tuesday was the day for Goodbye: The After Life of Cook & Moore, which I'd learned about from the Peter Cook Appreciation Society and attended with PCAS stalwarts Hamilton & Hind (Poor Mr Hamilton is in the hospital right now, so send him your best wishes).
The play by Jonathan Hansler & Clive Greenwood explores Cook and Moore in the afterlife, a grumpy Cook impatiently informing the late-arriving Moore that they will be judged for Derek & Clive in about an hour. They avoid an entirely predictable outcome, and the play offers Greenwood a chance to impersonate a wide range of departed comedians (Peter Sellers, Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams very well; Tony Hancock not so much) but the real problem is that Hansler sets an impossible task before him in trying to embody the sparkling wit and arresting charisma of Cook, so instead he plays him as grudging and bitter. No one seeing this would have the slightest idea why he remains a comedy icon. Adam Bampton-Smith makes for a cuddly Dudley.
But we had fun talking about it afterward at one of my fave West End pubs, where (making a stop at the loo at closing time) I found myself unable to resist liberating one of those really faboo posters for Arcadia, which I now need to get framed.
More later: Vic Reeves and Wales!