Monday, 30 October 2017

Play: Apologia

Tonight, I finally got to see Apologia, at Trafalgar Studios - London Dramatic Arts was going to this a while ago, but it was far too expensive on that occasion. Well, that's what you get for having Stockard Channing and Laura Carmichael in it! Amazon Tickets again provided the cheapest - what you don't save on ticket prices themselves, you do save on a whopping online transaction fee.

Our late meeting didn't go on that late, and the office is a short walk from the theatre anyway - how I'll miss that when we move! I can console myself with every show I go to locally in the meantime. Hell, I passed two on the way that I'm already booked for. Anyway, I didn't need directions for this - although it's been a while, I have been here several times. Got there in good time, picked up my ticket at the box office - where he apologised sympathetically for Stockard Channing being indisposed this evening, her role being played by an understudy. This didn't come as too much of a shock - I'd just been reading it on a notice while he was hunting down my ticket.

The usher had a sign advertising a very good value offer - a drink, ice cream, and a programme for £7.50! The programme on its own would have cost £4.. she didn't take cards, but the kiosk just inside the door did, and was doing the same deal. And yes, the drink could be wine, which could be taken in. She gave me a voucher for the ice cream, which I could present at the interval - I figured I wouldn't fancy it all at once. So, I made my way in - had forgotten all the stairs you have to climb here, and gee, I would be right in the back row. Which meant more climbing. Anyway, I'd just settled myself - and remarked to myself how the stage looked like a doll's house - when another usher came along and asked me whether I'd like to move down. Eh, ok. And so I moved from Row R.. all the way down to Row F! Not so bad.. You do miss a tiny bit of the left of the stage, but nothing worth mentioning.

So. A family drama, Stockard Channing (usually) as the matriarch, the clan descending for her birthday. Laura Carmichael plays the girlfriend of one of her two sons. As well as them, her other son's girlfriend and a longtime friend of hers, Desmond Barrit. And her other son - who's gone off the rails - might - show up.

It's a very well-written play. And the part is obviously perfect for Stockard Channing, as the bitchy and sarcastic mother. Over the course of the play, characters turn into something we weren't expecting, and there's a nice resolution.. it wasn't until I read my good-value programme that I realised that it was a comment on the idealism of the 60s, and how that panned out: some forsaking it for capitalism and greed, some truly espousing its aims and living by them. There's a most excellent essay on the subject in that programme, which I really recommend getting. Of course, this relates to the choices that Stockard Channing has made along the way. Unfortunately, that understudy is completely wrong for the part, playing it quite flatly, especially in the first act.

What the hey, hopefully Stockard Channing will be back on form before long - and I really recommend this. Runs till the 18th. Awesome music of the 60s and 70s plays at the interval.. oh, and if you were wondering, it's pronounced "Apol-OH-gia", and means a justification or defence of one's actions, rather than an "apology". You live and learn..

I'm hoping for a nicely scary Hallowe'en.. when I heard that they were doing the first-ever stage production of The Exorcist - and what's more, it's on in the Phoenix Theatre, right behind the office.. well, that was fate, wasn't it?! I jumped to get a ticket for that, as soon as they went on sale - after all, Hallowe'en has to be its most popular night! Jenny Seagrove plays the mother of the demonically possessed teen..

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