Sunday, 13 June 2010

How (Not) to Have a Night at the Theatre

Dimitri Leonidas & Ruth Wilson by Bridget Jones


Firstly do not book the theatre for the same night (and exact time) as the first England football match in the World Cup. With Husband who's so mad about sports he'd watch extreme ironing from Dubai if it existed (please don't tell me it does..?) 

In my defence I'll say that these tickets to see the late Swedish Film Director Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly were booked over six months ago by our friend and no way could we have known that the game was on at the same time. Also the cast included the rather lovely Ruth Wilson, an actress who most recently adorned our screens in a new BBC cop series, Luther, and who's artistic merits Husband was quite looking forward to inspecting more closely.

Secondly, when booking a restaurant to eat in pre-theatre, do make sure you a) know how long it takes to walk to the chosen venue (The Almeida), b) DO NOT trust the pretty but wholly useless map provided by your chosen eatery (Fredrick's), c) do keep an eye on the time when in said eatery, because invariably however much time you have you'll run out of it, d) do not trust any taxi drivers who might helpfully point you in the opposite direction.

Thirdly, when you finally arrive at the theatre, panting, suffering from a stitch caused by the post-food-jog, be graceful when the staff tell you that the play has started and make you sit outside the (closed) bar watching a teeny screen from which you can't even decipher the language the play is performed in.

Fourth, be grateful when, after quarter of an hour, you're given seats in the corner of the Gods, in seats which would have cost you about half of what you paid for yours, and you can only see half of the set and the cast.

Fifth, be glad that Husband when realising the futility of the situation, takes his chance and flees to the nearest big screen pub to watch the game. Also be happy, when at the end of the night he's elated for having been able to watch the match even if he's disgusted about the complete muppetry shown by the England goalkeeper. (This is worthy of another post; don't let me get started on the subject)

Finally, do not fret that you can't actually write a comprehensive review of the play because by definition you only saw half of it. The bits you saw were brilliant, particularly Ruth Wilson's portrayal of a young woman, Karin, who suffering from mental illness, seemed so sincere and natural it upset you even if for the most part you couldn't really catch her facial features. Dimitri Leonidas, who played the young Max, Karin's brother, was also excellent. His confusion at witnessing the agonies of the grown-up world, and his belief in the goodness of people brought tears to my eyes. I hadn't seen this actor before, but hope I'll see a lot more of him in the future.


He does look rather fine (for a young man that is), doesn't he?


There will now follow a two-month summer break before the next theatre review. That one I'm hoping to carry out in the traditional manner after actually having seen the whole of the play from my own, pre-booked seat.

13 comments:

Sam Liu said...

I for one have made many of the same mistakes! Not preparing properly, eating too late and then realising your mistake and rushing to the theatre - only to be told you've missed half of the play. I've even misread, on one or two occasions, the time on the ticket and thought that the play started at 7:30 when it actually started at 7:00. The moral of the story - going to the theatre isn't as easy as you might think, plan and save yourself the stress :D

Sharon Longworth said...

There was a play on in out village hall last night. I'm usually first in the queue for tickets, but not when England are playing. I had to spend yesterday hiding from my neighbours (who were producing it) and my friends (who were acting in it) and in the end, with the way the football went, I just wished I'd gone to the play instead.

Talli Roland said...

Oh no... I feel your pain. We've been late to the theatre etc various times mostly due to traffic!

Baglady said...

Much sympathy. Things really do seem to take longer to happen in the capital and with tickets costing what they do it's extra gutting not to get in on time.

:(

Wildernesschic said...

That sounds like one of our evenings, we were supposed to be dining with about twenty friends at 7:30 but with husband playing cricket he didnt get home until 8:45 we arrived two hours late, bless them they had waited.
I would love to go to the theatre more often and should make the effort, its such a drive though to anywhere, kids etc etc.. when they are older.
I loved Luther and thought she was great. xx

That's Not My Age said...

He does look very fine - and I'm a big Ruth Wilson fan. She was excellent in Luther, along with the fabulous Idris Elba. As usual I found the World Cup game v stressful - though not as stressful as my brother who lives in the States and was watching it at a 'soccer party.' Yikes.

Jose Ramon Santana Vazquez said...

...traigo
sangre
de
la
tarde
herida
en
la
mano
y
una
vela
de
mi
corazón
para
invitarte
y
darte
este
alma
que
viene
para
compartir
contigo
tu
bello
blog
con
un
ramillete
de
oro
y
claveles
dentro...


desde mis
HORAS ROTAS
Y AULA DE PAZ


TE SIGO TU BLOG




CON saludos de la luna al
reflejarse en el mar de la
poesía...


AFECTUOSAMENTE
HELENA

ESPERO SEAN DE VUESTRO AGRADO EL POST POETIZADO DE BLADE RUNNER, CHOCOLATE, EL NAZARENO- LOVE STORY,- Y- CABALLO,

José
ramón...

Looking Fab in your forties said...

I wish I had missed the game and gone to the theatre with you, the game was shit!

Millennium Housewife said...

better still, avoid all of the above by waiting for the dvd.

nerines said...

excuse me I'm still laughing...really like your profile introduction:-)

Bernie said...

Sounds rather stressful. You are so lucky to be able to go to the theatre often.

Your writing is amusing and I can just see you in my mind saying this with a sardonic smile on your face!

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Ah! Helena what a shame! Ruth Wilson is very good and I shall look out for Dimitri's next role. I thought Luther was great and Ruth Wilson, Idris Elba and my friend Indira Varma were all excellent.

Having been dragged to every theatre in London by The Actor he likes to see all our friend's plays I can happily recommend some good restaurants all over town. I'm five minutes from Islington and could have suggested a handful of decent places round the corner from the Almeida xx

Rose said...

am just back from hols and then internet troubles. isn't Ruth Wilson great? she's from where I'm from but I didn't know her when we younger- friends did though- apparently was always consumed by acting.

I watched the beeb adaptation of Small Island on the plane to LA and thought it was wonderful, am not sure why I let it pass me by before. She picks what she does really well- or is lucky with offers.

i am quite envious of your playing lately- I need to get myself back to the theatre it's been a little while- call myself an enthusiast?! You are lucky your hubby likes theatre (football aside) I'm single these days but have never really had a boy who did and it's one of my real pleasures.