Miss Squeenie McPimpalot (chaletian) wrote,
Miss Squeenie McPimpalot
chaletian

A Theatre-Going Record

I have decided, in my squeenly wisdom, to try and keep a record of all the stuff I see at the theatre, because frankly, there’s a lot of it, and I want to keep track. And I thought it might be amusing to retrospectively make an annotated list, going back. Way back. Well, partly way back. You all know me and my lack of remembering my childhood…

Anyway, yes, here they are, in more or less chronological order. This isn’t complete, because I have vague memories of various other plays, but not enough to actually include information on them. This doesn’t include school plays I have seen and/or been in (which include Daisy Pulls It Off, Anything Goes, The Red Barn, Stepping Out, The Snow Queen, The Young Visiters, The Phantom Tollbooth, Tolly (as written by chicken-nugget-in-pants’s English teacher, I believe), A Man For All Seasons, The Rivals, Animal Farm, The Real Inspector Hound and Twelfth Night).

*The Wind in the Willows – Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man*
Well, obvs, I was a small child, and can remember nothing except the theatre was a pink plush and gilt member of the species, and there was a revolving stage. I enjoyed it, but what wasn’t there to enjoy?

*Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat (Andrew Lloyd-Bach) – Crucible, Sheffield*
Went to see this whilst staying with grandparentals. Don’t remember much about it except it was jolly colourful and exciting.

*High Rise Warren - London*
School trip to a children’s theatre in London, I think c.1990 (starring Dexter Fletcher – woohoo!). I can’t really remember what it was about, except a boy called Warren, who lived in a block of high-rise flats. And his grandmother. And there was some scenes at his school. I think there may have been a girl. It was really good, and I cried quite a lot.

*The Invisible Friends (Alan Ayckbourn) – National Theatre, London, 1990*
School trip. Freaked me out completely. Child has invisible friends, who get increasingly scary (in a creepy, psycho killer way, not like clowns or monsters or anything).

*A Christmas Carol (Northern Ballet) – Canterbury*
This is actually the first ballet I ever saw, and it was fantastic. The Northern Ballet has never been into (as far as I can tell) diaphanous gowns and Swan Lake type stuff. This was great – very dramatic.

*The Diary of Anne Frank – Canterbury, 1992*
We were doing this book in English Lit, so obviously bopped off to see it. It was actually a very good adaptation. The ending was really chilling – the staircase to the offices was a trap door in the stage, and at the end all you could hear was the thud of soldiers’ boots on the stairs.

*Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Tom Stoppard) – Lyceum, Sheffield*
Went to see this with Karen. It’s a great play – what else can you say about Stoppard?

*Cymbeline (Mr S) – Crucible, Sheffield*
Sheffield Youth Theatre production that my friend Catherine was in. It was fun.

*The Tempest (Mr S) – Crucible, Sheffield*
Ditto. Although marred by having a school party with a billion sweet wrappers behind us. Ariel was played by four people at the same time, which worked surprisingly well.

*Cinderella (Northern Ballet) – Lyceum, Sheffield*
I seem to recall that this got mixed reviews, possibly because it was a more modern version, but I thought it was great.

*Romeo and Juliet (Northern Ballet) – Lyceum, Sheffield*
Well, Prokofiev’s score for this rocks anyway, so it was always going to be good. I think I ended up seeing this twice.

*School For Scandal (Richard Brinsley Sheridan) – Crucible, Sheffield*
You’ve got to love a bit of Sheridan. This was a good production – it had Ian Carmichael in it, as well as either Gussy, Oofy or Wilbur from Jeeves and Wooster (can’t remember which one now). The design was mostly in black and white, which came across really well, though I think the play itself would have worked better in the Lyceum (your trad proscenium arch type) rather than at the Crucible (in the round – or half a round, at any rate).

*Dangerous Corner (JB Priestley) – Lyceum, Sheffield*
I love this play. It’s your usual 30s drawing room drama thing, but I love its little twists and turns, and it’s so gorgeously melodramatic. St Anne’s Dram Soc did this play in 1999 or 2000 and I was Miss Mockridge.

*Romeo and Juliet (Mr S) – Crucible, Sheffield*
School trip to a production already awash with school trips. It was quite good, I seem to recall, though there was a lot of stupid catcalling when we saw Juliet’s bottom for about a nanosecond.

*Macbeth (Mr S) – Crucible, Sheffield*
Yet another school trip. Macbeth set in the trenches – it more or less worked. Lots of overcoats and shouting.

*Cyrano de Bergerac (Edward Albee) – University Theatre, Sheffield*
Well, it was French, for a start. Quite good fun, as far as I recall. Although sad at the end.

*Hay Fever (Noel Coward) – Crucible, Sheffield*
Went to see this with my friend Lucy, and we both really enjoyed it (again, who wouldn’t?), though I don’t think the production was anything like as good as the one Katie and I went to at the Haymarket.

*Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (Moliere) – University Theatre, Sheffield*
Also a French Department play. I liked this one better, I think – comedies of manners are always entertaining.

*Educating Rita - ?Crucible, Sheffield*
To be honest, don’t really remember much about this. Not even sure who I went with. And actually, thinking about it, it might have been in the Mansfield Arts Fest.

*Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Tom Stoppard) – Old Fire Station, Oxford, 1999*
Student production, that was actually very good. The set was very minimal, but it really worked.

*Merchant of Venice (Mr S) – Brasenose Arts Fest, Oxford, 1999*
Set in the 30s; outdoor production. I really enjoyed this, it worked well.

*Merchant of Venice (Mr S) – St John’s Arts Fest, Oxford, 1999*
Set in 40s gangster America. Really didn’t work that well. At all.

*Arcadia (Tom Stoppard) – Wadham College, Oxford, 1999*
God bless Wadham, frankly. I went to see this with a bunch of people from Mansfield, and then again a couple of days later with Lucy, who was visiting. This is the most perfect play, and it was a wonderful production. Just glorious.

*Arcadia (Tom Stoppard) – Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, 1999*
By a bizarre quirk of fate, there was a professional production at the Playhouse shortly afterwards. It actually wasn’t a patch on the Wadham version, and I didn’t enjoy it quite as much. Still, y’know, Arcadia…

*The Frogs (Aristophanes) – ?Oxford*
I had actually forgotten that I had seen this, as I love the written play, but then I realised that I was unlikely to have just randomly one day decided to have read it, so I’m pretty sure I saw it. I think it was at Oxford – might have been The Old Fire Station, actually. But I am not sure.

*Jeeves and Wooster – Trinity Arts Fest, Oxford, 1999*
Outdoor performance. It was freezing cold and then started to rain, so I’m not sure we actually saw the end. Don’t remember it being particularly good. Actually, I’m not sure what it was called, but it was an adaptation of something Wodehousian.

*The Graduate – Gielgud Theatre, London*
Mon pere took me to see this (Kathleen Turner was the Mrs Robinson du jour; Kelly Reilly was the daughter). It was jolly good, and funnier than I expected. And, er, that’s about it.

*Les Miserables – Palace Theatre, London*
First thing I saw on coming to London. And it didn’t actually blow me away as much as I expected. Possibly due to the Japanese girls next to me SINGING ALONG TO EVERYTHING. Not a highlight.

*The Complete Works of Shakespeare – Criterion Theatre, London*
Very funny. As you would expect. Tiny, tiny theatre.

*The Mousetrap (Agatha Christie) – St Martin’s Theatre (I think), London*
Well, pretty crap, I’m afraid. Very am dram, and not particularly interesting.

*Mother Clap’s Molly House – National Theatre, London*
Lucy had press tickets for this, so we went for freeeee. It was kinda weird. It was about the gay/transvestite community in ?C19th England, and was very bawdy and quite strange.

*An Audience With Dickens – Adelphi Theatre, London*
Simon Callow. Charles Dickens. A match made in the proberbial.

*Private Lives (Noel Coward) – Adelphi Theatre, London*
Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan. Fantabulous. My mother took me. There are no words, but it was just the best production.

*A Life in the Theatre – London*
Ah, Patrick Stewart and Joshua Jackson. PS was an old theatre actor; JJ was an up-and-coming actor. Quite compelling in places, and funny, especially when they were doing the operating theatre scene and PS’s character just completely went off on his own little tangent.

*The Tempest (Mr S) – The Globe, London*
Went with Cousin Rosemary. 3-man version of The Tempest, and it actually worked surprisingly well. Plus, y’know, Ed Hogg, who is lovely.

*The Storm – The Globe, London*
A modern reinterpretation of a Plautus play, this was very funny indeed.

*Midnight – Peacock Theatre, London*
Went to see this with Xanthe’s Guides, and really enjoyed it. It was creepy and cool and I loved the set design.

*La Traviata (Northern Ballet) – Lyceum, Sheffield*
Hmm, this was interesting. I did enjoy it, and the set was fabulous, but I’m not completely convinced by how well it worked as a ballet. Music was great, obviously.

*Madame Butterfly (Northern Ballet) – Lyceum, Sheffield*
Well, this is always going to be a tear-jerker, and it was lovely, though the corps sucked bigtime, and the ending went very, very, seriously badly weird.

*Guys and Dolls – London*
Alas, poor Ewan. He didn’t quite have the voice to carry it off. But still, this was highly and indeed deeply entertaining. And I got a badge out of it to go on my bag.

*See How They Run – Richmond Theatre, London*
Ah, farce with vicars – that old staple. This was rather good fun, and the scene with the two actors doing their version of Private Lives was just genius. Had Benjamin Whitrow (aka Mr Bennet) as a bish.

*Enemies – The Almeida, London*
This was interesting. All Russian angst and the uprising of the workers, with Jack Davenport being a scruffy aristocratic layabout.

*Rock ‘n’ Roll (Tom Stoppard) – Royal Court, London*
New Tom Stoppard – wheee! All about Czechoslovakia under communism, and the view of communism back in England. And we learnt far more about the Plastic People of the Universe than you would think you would want to. Rufus Sewell is so fine. And it had Ed Hogg in!

*Hay Fever (Noel Coward) – Haymarket, London*
Judi Dench as Judith Bliss. Are there any sweeter words in the English language? Tis a wondrous, wondrous play, and this production was just brilliant. Ah, the comedy posing…

*The Royal Hunt of the Sun (Peter Schaffer) – National Theatre, London*
Ah, Pizarro and Atahuallpa – a fine combination. This was great (though the second act was much better than the first). I liked the use of the swathes of material to represent gold and blood etc.

*Sunday in the Park with George (Stephen Sondheim) – Wyndham’s Theatre, London*
This was very absorbing. I was absorbed (despite the smelly man next to me). All about Georges Seurat and his drive to paint with new ideas, and then contrasted with a later George, who was stuck in the rut doing the same art over and over again. It was lovely.

*The Life of Galileo (Bertold Brecht/David Hare) – National Theatre, London*
This was brilliant, if a little long. The story of Galileo is fascinating, anyway, but this was a fine portrayal of it. Lots of scientific passion – always fun. And bless his insistence that he was merely giving them the truth, that what they did with it wasn’t his concern, as if it didn’t matter. And that even the Pope could acknowledge that he might be right, but it couldn’t be admitted. Pity the land that needs heroes, indeed. Genius musical intermission part way through!
Tags: a life in the theatre, theatre
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