Festen

The Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue is currently home to a production of Festen, David EldridgeÂ’s adaptation of the cult film by Thomas Vinterberg The play, directed by Rufus Norris, no longer had the original cast but I don’t think that matters: it’s a stunning piece of theatre.

paul_n.jpgthisistheatre.com sums it up well: Patriarch Helge Klingenfelt is celebrating his 60th birthday with his family at a magnificent old hotel in the Danish countryside. Gathered together are his loyal wife Elsa, his daughter Helene, and sons Christian and Michael. As the evening progresses Christian feels compelled to break the silence surrounding a dark family secret. The effect is explosive and sets the tone for a celebration no-one will forget! [Source]

I don’t really want to give the plot away any more but you can read a little more at The Independent’s review (and some non plot-spoiling reviewer’s comments at the Festen site). Regardless, it’s a powerful piece of work with some excellent acting. It’s hard to pick anybody out but Stephen Moore (Helge), Paul Nicholls (Christian) and Lisa Palfrey (Helene) are just three of the wonderful performances.

Credit must also be given to designer Ian MacNeil and all the others involved in the staging of this work. It’s simple, yet stunningly effective, set is a wonder. The stark, dark stage that opens the play hides some very clever set work.

As it appears only to be running until the start of May I would advise you to go now! thisistheatre.com has tickets.

Cybill Disobedience

The experience of watching your slightly pissed auntie making an exhibition of herself at a wedding

Earlier tonight we went to see Cybill Shepherd at The Soho Theatre. It’s her so-called Cybill Disobedience tour where she performs jazz, her own songs and tells stories from her life – if you didn’t know, she once dated Elvis. Well, I think I should have learnt my lesson from seeing her last year. This show wasn’t that different but it’s a little like watching a car crash (or at least aliens trying to fix a car at the side of the road). It’s billed as comedy and was amusing (although not laugh out loud funny) but, really, you couldn’t keep yours eyes off her. Was she drunk (no, I suspect that was pretend) but she was certainly a little odd. Stephanie Merrit in last week’s Observer likened it to “the experience of watching your slightly pissed auntie making an exhibition of herself at a wedding” [source] which I think sums it up.

Entertaining but scary. Strange and a little unerving.

Oh, and the picture is from her remarkable promotional appearance on GMTV sometime last week. She may just be a great promoter but I think she needs to think a little more!

Up Above The Streets And Houses

In case you’re wondering, my attempt to bring forth an avalanche of programmes from my childhood didn’t quite have the desired result.

In case you’re wondering, my attempt to bring forth an avalanche of programmes from my childhood didn’t quite have the desired result. However, Danny Baker on BBC London this morning did spend some time talking about Rainbow (fab title sequence here). Somehow, it doesn’t seem quite so much of a spooky coincidence as the whole Fame thing.