Last Saturday night, I sat almost nose to nose with very attractive Aidan Turner ( Poldark to you and me) as I watched him onstage in the play the Lieutenant of Innishmore, by the wonderful Martin McDonagh, he who wrote In Bruges and Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri
I had a seat in the front row and enjoyed this play as much as anything as I can remember. It is funny, dark and Martin McDonagh has a unique understanding of human nature, I cannot praise him highly enough. Mr Turner and the rest of the cast were terrific and the evening was just a real pleasure. More treats to come this month……I will have the pleasure of seeing Sir Ian McKellan give his final performance on stage as King Lear and also a performance of Translations by Brian Friel at the National Theatre. Brian Friel is another Irish writer…what is it about the Irish…they are so talented and to my uneducated eye, freer and less fettered by convention as many English writers…… exception probably Alan Bennett, who turned conventional behaviour into an art form. Shakespeare was pretty free, but he couldn’t afford to be too intellectual…his was the pop culture of the day…having to make a living… he just happened to be a sublime writer…too lazy to make up his own plots…he stole most of them! As I have said ad nauseum, it’s the writer who is the base for all of us who act and upon whom we build our work.
I am beginning to feel like Pepys, with this sort of diary of my present life in London. It has been unbelievably hot here…but is proving to be a wonderful English summer and I have sucked it all up. I have been watching Wimbledon, eating strawberries, drinking Pimms….England does good summers pretty well, probably because they have traditionally been at a premium and not to be counted on, weather wise. I watched the football (soccer to the Americans) a game I understand and can follow much better than American Football, whose rules have always confused me. It was unbelievably exciting and I was thrilled to see so much heart and spirit from the England team, inspired without a doubt by their excellent coach Gareth Southgate. I watched the tennis at Wimbledon …another big sports fixture during the English summer…in a way, participating in the London Season, as it is known, if only on the edges. I remember it well from my childhood because of my mother’s job as fashion artist extraordinaire, rushing around exhaustingly from event to event, watching, drawing and delivering her sketches to the National newspaper, for whom she worked. I don’t know how she did it, working flat out. She would be up at the crack of dawn, going by public transport (bus or train) to the Event, sketching…then back to the office to finalise her work for it to go onto the presses for next day’s paper, then onto the bus home …we lived in the suburbs…Upper Norwood to be precise….exhausted …quick bite, fall into bed and up again next day to start all over again.
I thought it was all terribly glamorous….seeing the Royals almost on a daily basis and the other famous people of the day.