Gigolos and harlots and racism, oh my!

2 posts in one day, I am on a roll!

Just felt I had to post a little extra something today, since it’s been one of those days where despite the weather, the family that phones you up to moan or the half dozen phonecalls you get from people trying to sell you something, nothing seems to dampen your mood. Must be those uppers I’ve switched to 😉

Anyway, whatever the reason, I was wandering around Waterloo in a suit this afternoon feeling a bit dapper and on my way home I wandered past the Old Vic. Now, what a theatre this is! Just thinking about the greats that must have trodden those boards is enough to make any budding actor yearn for the chance to emanate that, then most likely soil themselves if they’re ever faced with actually doing it. Inside this majestic theatre the walls are lined with performances of plays that will go down in history as true highlights of any star’s career. Walking past I thought of the last play I saw here only a month ago and decided to write a little something about it. Recently finished, Sweet Bird of Youth performed a commendable stint at this magnificent theatre, giving way now to the much anticipated Much Ado About Nothing (James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave star, so this is definitely on my list!).

Back to Sweet Bird, a Tennessee Williams play that examines the contrasting relationship between a faded movie star who thinks her career is over and her much younger lover, who is trying to get ahead in his aspiring movie ambitions. They return to the young man’s home town and tempers fray when news that this misguided youth has returned gets to the ears of the mayor. A really gripping play that examines some interesting and topical themes of the time, not least of which was the attitude in the Deep South of America at the time when the black population was still very much in servitude to the richer white population. Around America this attitude was changing in an explosive and dramatic fashion but the reluctance of this particular mayor to let go (power drives anyone to desperate acts) was really emphasised here. Enough about that, praise must be given to the main protagonists of this artfully crafted production. Seth Numrich is quite something as the extroverted gigolo, but the portrayal of an actress on the cusp between falling into despair and trying to continue her glory days by Kim Cattrall was something quite magical to watch. Known and loved as the ballsy Samantha by most of us, what I loved about Kim’s version of this leading lady was that you could almost imagine this person being a faded version of Samantha – Kim did a great job of finding a continuity between the characters whilst simultaneously ensuring the two different roles were given their space to exist in isolation. Plus she’s a North West England girl so she gets many a point for that!

Word of the day – panacea. Yes it was in the last post but it’s the same day! Otherwise there would be 2 words of the day and that’s just too much new vocab for me 😉

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