Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Globe Shakespeare play that goes wrong in Wales with jazz

I’m overtired already and it’s only Wednesday! After several quiet weeks for culture, we’re
going a bit mad now with four different events over five evenings – Shakespeare, slapstick comedy, Dylan Thomas and jazz.

Monday evening saw us at Eastbourne’s Cineworld for an evening of Shakespeare broadcast from the Globe Theatre in London. It wasn’t such a rush through dinner to get there because it’s now possible to select seats when booking tickets online – thank you Cineworld! The play was The Tempest which is definitely the weirdest of his plays I’ve seen so far. It always takes me a few minutes to get into the Elizabethan language but I’m sure I didn’t miss that much of the essential plotline! Ithought The Tempest was a serious work about revenge but there were plenty of giggles in the script. The Prince has a great sense of comic timing and Ariel was beautifully bizarre. I didn’t understand the Ceres and Juno bit although that dance was fun. And I liked that everyone was dancing at the very end – often there’s a back row of Those That Don’t! Special praise must go to the talented musicians. Their music adds real atmosphere to these Globe performances. We’re booked in to see the Globe’s Macbeth at Cineworld on 14 July too. Let me know if you’re going to be there!

Yesterday was actual live theatre with a visit to the Devonshire Park Theatre for The Play That Goes Wrong. This was recommended to me by my friend, Linda, and I’m so glad she passed on the news. It’s absolutely hysterical! In a nutshell, an ‘amateur company’ are putting on a performance of a 1920s murder mystery, but everything that can go wrong does so. To be honest, I was expecting to only be amused, possibly recalling a few unfortunate events of my own am dram days, but Mischief Theatre Company do such a fantastic job, I was laughing out loud all the way through. So was Dave, my friend Sally and, I believe, everyone else in the room. Slapstick comedy like this is so difficult to make work convincingly and the whole company were sharp and perfectly timed throughout. If you haven’t seen this play yet, do make the journey. It’s in Eastbourne for the rest of this week (until 5 July), and in Leeds the week after. Then there’s a lengthy residency at the Duchess Theatre in London.

And now we’re half way through our cultural delights and off to Brighton for Wednesday evening’s offering of classic Welsh poetry at the Theatre Royal. Clwyd Theatr Cymru are touring Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood to celebrate both his birth in 1914 and the 60th anniversary of the play’s British premiere. I downloaded the famous Richard Burton BBC audio version last year and thoroughly enjoyed discovering the atmospheric village and its not-so demure residents. I’m intrigued to see how well what essentially is a radio script will translate to the stage.

We’re left with jazz and a gentler end to the week back in Eastbourne. The Alan Barnes Quartet with Art Themen are playing at the Under Ground Theatre on Friday. I haven’t been there for ages and am not even sure whose art will be on the walls! It’s amazing how fast my priorities are changing. We have seen Art Themen play before, again at the Under Ground, when I think he was there with Bobby Wellins. I’m looking forward to being transported by inventive melodies and rhythms to smooth our way into the weekend.

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