Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Hard Problem

The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard
Rebecca wrote to tell me that four of them went to The Hard Problem on Thursday.

Katie, Duncan and Alex all loved it.

Duncan went on and on afterwards about all the ideas that were in the play ?! :-)

Rebecca says,  "I pulled an ‘Arta’ during the play. I closed my eyes briefly and fell asleep. DRAT. At one moment, the main character was in bed with a former teacher in Venice, and at the next moment, a group of people were having a dinner party on bonfire night. Argh. The rest of them had to fill me in on what I missed. Well THAT (falling asleep during a play) was a first for me. Guess I was a bit tired…."
The brain as an electrical installation.

So, now a word from Arta.

It is time for me to weigh in on this show. I rarely go to an HD-Live performance alone, but this was a night when everyone else had tickets to go somewhere else.

What was amazing?

For one thing, the music.  All of that Bach that was played during the scene changes.  The Bach was familiar.  At first I didn't know if I liked the electrical installation representing the brain and I didn't know if I recognized the Bach -- a bit irritating not to know if it was a fuge or a prelude.

But I began to look forward to the scene changes, to the different shots of the light and to the new Bach -- that composer is so cerebreal.  The perfect choice for this play.

When I got the first hint that one of the important experiments had 88 subject, paired down from the original 96 -- I was laughing so hard -- one of those times when a person laughs outloud in the theatre, can't help themselves, and doesn't care.  That problem was so beautifully set up.
"Does she know she is adopted?"
"I think so.  His wife is Asian."

Knowing that some of my grandchildren were watching this, I was wondering, is the pace of the play too slow? is there too little action? what will they be thinking about these ideas? will the costuming and the change of hair styles let them know that time is passing?

But there wasn't much time to think about that, since the play pretty well demanded total concentration on my part.

Would love to go back to an encore and catch the lines that I missed the first time around.


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