So so so scandalous

Ok, Misteeq lyrics aside for the remainder of this post, I promise. For those who aren’t willing to admit remembering this band, it “launched” the career of one Alesha Dixon (her off Strictly before she defected to Britain’s Got Talent).

So tonight I enjoyed a much needed catch up with a theatrical friend of mine who is much more established than myself in this beautiful world we call show (Lois Jeary this is for you). A future star in the making, we enjoyed a happy hour cocktail whilst she imparted her words of wisdom as a theatre critic and director upon my amateur ears. Of course I plied her with alcohol to eek out all of those trade secrets she no doubt possesses, but unfortunately I also made the mistake of getting suitably tipsy with her so will imminently forget all of those juicy pieces of much needed advice I’m sure! On the journey home I started thinking of the last piece of theatre that I attended to support her efforts. Not that I should be surprised (since Lois was involved), but what started as a hungover trek to Finsbury Park turned into a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon at Park Theatre. An intimate place with no more than 70 seats in the audience and a cafe at the front, this theatre made a nice change in some ways from the larger, more mainstream rivals it was competing with just down the proverbial road.

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This picture is in fact a detailing of the programme for The School For Scandal, written by Richard Sheridan in 1777 and adapted for these performances by inserting cleverly phrased musical passages that really helped to convey the insatiable need for the gossip emanating from all of the cast members. What I liked about this programme was the little tidbits of history that it included, giving a nice pre-performance insight into the world that Sheridan inhabited – a Heat magazine for the times (and I do love a good gossip mag, guilty pleasure I know).
A simple set for this play was nevertheless well used to add humour to the script, with glass-fronted wardrobes allowing the audience to interact with whichever cast member happened to be hiding a torrid love affair from their spouse (a common theme in this aristocratic circle of social airs and graces). The theatre itself was used for dialogue between actors, one shouting down to another from an audience balcony – I love that it really made the audience feel more involved in the scene. Now considering I love a gossip I personally gave myself a little pat on the back for not jumping onto stage and having a proper natter with the actors, since I was so encapsulated by the twists and turns thrown into the production.
A fairly classical farce typical of the period, this play was a nice diversion to the otherwise horrifically churning stomach that I was coping with. Next time I’m hungover, I am definitely going to watch another of my friend’s expert creations – what a cure it was!

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