Alex S (barrysarll) wrote,
Alex S

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Glimmers of optimism

Found another little basement venue lurking unsuspected last night. Same as Date With The Night at the Albany, or G I R L S at the Star of Kings (the former Cross Kings, now mercifully rid of its rapey murals), it's good to know they're still out there, more numerous than we could ever suspect, hiding in the cracks, resisting. And when the current London plague passes, like the wars and fires and moral outcries before it, they'll breed again. I just hope it's soon enough for us all to get the benefit. Meanwhile, I've been at places like the Windmill more; lurking far enough outside Brixton proper, one hopes Roofdog will keep it safe from the developers, though of course you can never be sure. It seems to run much more smoothly now than it did, which enables the acts to be the chaotic ones, whether that's Franz Nicolay coming across like Jason Webley's more disreputable cousin, or Her Parents doing a 'Virginia Plain' cover which should be sacrilegious yet somehow mostly comes off. And already some of the slain are rising again, though having seen what the horribly tinny sound at the new '12 Bar' did to poor bloody Dom Green's Mystery Machine, it remains open to question how advisable such zombie establishments might be.

Went to the National Gallery this week for the new Tom Stoppard, The Hard Problem. The play was fine, if not one of his best, but the cast were mostly poor, all dodgy accents and hectoring, declamatory delivery. How does that happen? How does one of the country's most prestigious venues, our best playwright, not get you at least decent if not astonishing actors? Especially when you consider how many people are doing better for the love of it. Princess Ida in Greenwich a month or two back; not quite on a par with the last Gilbert & Sullivan I did there, comically inept scenery changes, but overall an essentially hobbyist cast did better work than the NT's mob. Cosmic Trigger, the bonkers epic play/experience/ritual based elliptically on the life of Robert Anton Wilson, which I saw at a weird establishment in Wandsworth last year and whose cast were at most semi-pro: astonishing. And yet you can put in much more money for far inferior results. I know that's always the way, across so many media, but somehow in the theatre one expects at least a little more Darwinism.
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