Current work: new book – getting to know characters
Listening to: Joe Bonamassa (love the new album)
Reading: Stanley Wells, Shakespeare and Love (very interesting)
Fabulous weekend. Stayed with my best friend and we took Son to the Roundhouse on Chalk Farm Road to see the RSC production of ‘The Tempest’.
The building itself was gorgeous, a Victorian roundhouse which used to contain a turntable for steam locomotives (which couldn’t go backwards very easily). When the engines grew too big to use the turntable, the building was used as a warehouse by a gin distillery company, and then became a space for performance arts.
The set was very well done – it worked both as the deck of a ship and as the bare, rocky island. The box in the corner worked as Prospero’s cell and the ship.
Jonathan Slinger was absolutely superb as Prospero (which I expected, as I liked his Macbeth very much indeed); Ariel was nicely done, too, and the masque worked very well (nice to see the spirits acting as ‘puppeteers’ to make it very clear it was a masque). The music was beautiful – the first time I’ve heard ‘Where the bee sucks’ done in a melancholy fashion, and I really liked the use of a violin bow with a glockenspiel – very eerie.
Would highly recommend the performance – the supporting cast were all good, too.
And Mr Rickman? Well… my best friend nudged me in the interval and asked me quietly, did I realise who was sitting four rows in front of us?
Yes, I did. And it was confirmed at the end of the performance, when he stood up.
It’s a terrible pic because I was trying to be discreet (I mean, the guy was out for a nice evening watching Shakespeare – he wouldn’t want to be bothered with a short, round, middle-aged woman coming up to him and running on about how much she enjoys his work, particularly ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’, which is her second all-time favourite film). We also passed him on the way back to Chalk Farm tube. As in walked right next to him… I think son was a bit amused to see his mother and godmother going into girly teen fangirl mode for a moment.
(And, Mr Rickman, if you get Google alerts and pick this up – I think you’re a superb actor, and I’d dearly love to see you in an RSC performance.)