Fires rage, sun blazes, forests burn, humans and animals wilt in this immensely hot summer. Greece and now California have been devastated by raging fires…will it take the oceans to boil, before we accept the damage we are doing to our little planet by global warming?
By and large I am not a political animal…a coward if you will, who prefers to sit on the sidelines and amuse my self watching humanity busily making a right mess of what we have been gifted. We have so many positives, but greed and the profligacy of our kind is pushing us to edge of extinction with our abuse of our tiny world. One more thing to put a cynical smile on our faces……today we heard that the politicians are upset with Social Media and its influence in our lives. Ok it can be tricky and there are potential dangers, but it’s the one real freedom of press/media that has ever been invented. We the people can at last express our thoughts without restriction and reach and possible influence billions of other people. This is the terrifying reality that the powers that be and press have always dreaded. I suppose they will find a way to suppress it…but it is an instrument that finally gives the power to the people and for us in the entertainment industry, it is one of the most effective and inexpensive PR tools that we have ever had.
Still here in London and having a terrific time…best of all seeing friends and after that getting to the theatre and just generally enjoying the City, which is packed to the gills.
Two dollops of Shakespeare this week:
The extraordinary talent of Sir Ian McKellan giving us his King Lear. A play that will resonate with all of us who getting older and all that goes with it…… losing our power and control in our world. Thoroughly enjoyed Sir Ian’s performance and recommend it. Shakespeare never fails to move me and get to me…his insight and understanding and depiction of human nature is second to none. Think it’s the most important ingredient of any fiction writing and what really “separates the men from the boys”.
As You Like It at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park….
-a charming romantic Production of a charming romantic play…but then I am a romantic, so it would be a really bad Production that would fail to please me. The performances and setting were delightful on a hot summers night, with a slight gentle breeze and the sweet accompanying music.
Only thing that slightly spoiled both Productions for me was the modern dress…especially when we weren’t sure which period we were in as in “Lear” 1950’s/ 60’s? Shakespeare of all writers can stand it…..but I do think the Play has to have the relevance to the period. I first appeared in the National Youth Theatre as Portia in Julius Caesar… Michael Croft, directed….he who founded the NYT, set the play in a South American dictatorship, which really worked as it paralleled the dictatorship of Julius Caesar’s Rome. Neither the “Lear” nor “As You Like It” seemed have any political or social relevance to their modern dress setting. What’s wrong with the period, in which it was written? However having said that the recent Intermission Youth Production of Othello which I saw with all Anglo African Actors, worked brilliantly in modern dress, with Othello as a Star Boxer, set in a Boxing Ring.
Last word …went to a lovely reunion with many of the original National Youth Theatre actors, those who were in at the beginning with Michael Croft – Ken Farrington, Julian Glover, David Weston and Richard Hampton, among others! As Michael had started the whole thing at Alleyns Boys School, all the women’s parts were played by boys, so not may women at the party…Helen Mirren didn’t show….but Ginny Stride, widow of the wonderful John Stride did, looking much the same as she did 5o years ago! Happy memories of good times!