Friday, November 18, 2016

The Entertainer

The Entertainer
I had four people lined up with me to go to The Entertainer.

 Catherine said we were going to make it a five person Christmas party at the theatre -- how good would that have been!

One by one other needs became a higher priority than personal entertainment and off I went alone.  Getting to these shows seems to be a religious necessity for me.

As the story started going Willy Loman-like, downhill, I was glad my friends and family had ditched.  But then, that is why I go to the theatre isn't it.

I am pretty sure some of my Victoria relatives would have been there, so for them?  Here is what I noticed.

1. When Jean Rice knelt down on the stage, her back to us, we could see the huge holes in the soles of her high heels.  I loved that touch.
2. When her brother went over to play the piano and he accompanied himself, that is the first time I was aware that I hadn't been "aware" of the band before.  So many plays, now, have the band onstage.  And of course there was one, for the accompanied the burlesque dancing, etc.   Then on the second verse of the song, he stopped playing the piano and the band accompanied him, but ... just so touching.
3. Phoebe had a large part in the play. She was onstage and the foil for so much that was going wrong.  Nice to look into the soul of a woman in her position.
4. Loved the questions and answers at the half time entertainment.  They added so much to understanding the background of what I was seeing.
5. I watched Branaugh, even when my eyes were to be on the other characters.  Flawless!  What a performance.  Slipping into other brogues, his anger, his "deadness", his analysis of his life, his new love affair gone sour because of his father's interference, his dark British humour, the quick change between cruelty and love,  ....
6. I haven't read John Osbourne's Look Back in Anger.  I wish that had been on some university course in my distant past.
7. I thought the integration between the home scenes and the theatre scenes was clever.  Seamless.  And the light occasionally coming through one of the doors.

I am glad I had the plot under my belt before I left -- and some background knowledge about the Suez Canal / Anthony Eden / politics.

Catherine is telling me from the background that I have four minutes until she is ready to go out the door.  I don't want to be left behind, and there are other shows coming.  But I did want to say this was another show that I want to see again at the Encore.


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