Lots to say about this Humble Boy with a bee in his bonnet
Well a four star review in the Sunday Times …how could I miss
it……………. just around the corner from me in Richmond.
Ileana and I used to go to the Orange tree when it was a big room above the pub .
We saw some extraordinary productions done on a shoe string budget but with such imagination and a passionate desire to communicate something new.
I remember a memorable production of Crime and Punishment by Dostoevskij in this little room.
I have been back a few times to the new Orange Tree built next to the pub as occasionally I might go back to the beautiful Matcham theatre on the Green.
Unfortunately these days commercial necessities have taken precedence over the actual reason for doing theatre.
It was the great Italian theatre director Orazio Costa Giovangigli when asked by a well off (subsidised !) public theatre company if he would consider directing a play with a budget of only 400 .
“I cannot possibly accept because I would not know how to spend the money.”
Obviously intending that artistic considerations should take precedence over any other.
Budget could be accommodated … artistic compromise never!
In my youth I would go into the Gods at Richmond Theatre to see John Guilgud,Googie Withers,Edith Evans and the whole of the great english theatre including Arthur Askey in the annual Pantomime ……..
Yes he was up there with the greats too.Bumble bee and all.
The theatre was rarely full and as a little boy I could sneak down in to the stalls to get a better look.
Times have changed and seats need to be filled!
The best way to fill them is to have our TV heros in person on stage regardless of whether they can actual sustain a theatrical role however brilliant they may be in Coronation Street!
The public are usually retired gentlefolk out for a Tuesday evening at the theatre …..Whats on eh!…….
So I am reliant on the critics . I managed to secure the last seat at the Orange Tree to see this much lauded play.
In the round with all the local gentlefolk obviously having a good night out.
The highlight for them in a play that with all generosity could
only be described as a poor mans’ Ayckbourn was when an elderly member of the cast did actually pull out his member and peed all over them!They loved it !
I stayed to the bitter end as I had paid over twenty pounds for the ticket .
Uplifted or disgusted I was neither.
Worse, indifferent !!!!!!! …..and wishing I had stayed at home.
My local cinema in Italy is on the top of Mount Circeo in San Felice.
It is the place that Anna Magnani adored and where she lived and she is in fact still there five feet down!
The 40 seat cinema named after Anna Magnani must be one of the most beautiful in the world and it shows only one film a week and tries to cater quite rightly for all tastes.
So I was thrilled to see that a few weeks ago there would be the Oscar winning film “The shape of water”.
A beautiful poster of what looks like water nymphs very artistically and enticingly depicted.
Little was I expecting what I actually got!
Roughly the plot was this:
A rather ordinary looking young lady with a handicap -she could not talk- falls in love with a monster that is kept in a cage and occasionally let loose to be badly treated by a gangster type maniac.
She elopes with the monster only to be shot together with her companion by this maniac whose intimate married pleasures we have not been spared in a quite unrelated scene.
All necessary ingredients for success according to the PR boys .
Another tick in another box .
The more ticks the more success we will have !!
The monster miraculously wipes away this little inconvenience as he does for his loved one and they swim off together to live happily ever after !
Well words at this point fail me ………
Know what I mean ?……….
Anna ….Rossellini,Fellini where are you?
Forgive us !