Monday, October 31, 2011

Two Great Shows (really three...)

Last week was the week of theatre, because I saw three shows. "Blood Brothers", "Jerusalem" and "The Tempest". I already wrote about "Blood Brothers" in the parents post, so I'm just going to talk about the other two here.

So "Jerusalem" is a 3 hour play with two intermissions. (That's the way a three hour play should be done). So this night started off with us being late to the train, and had to run to the theatre, up the stairs...and as I sit down, the house lights went out...not the best way to start a show. The second thing I have to talk about it the set. It was INCREDIBLE! It was set in the woods, so of course you have to have trees. Now I couldn't tell if they were actually real trees, but they looked good enough. Center stage was a trailer, one of the old "silver-bullet" ones (that's the best way for me to describe it). Then there was a slab of concrete surrounded with dirt and the set was dressed to the max. So much detail was put into it. There were live chickens in a coop under the front of the trailer AND the record player turned when it was playing. I'm a tech guy, I love detail like that. But putting aside the fantastic scenery and props, the acting was just....outstanding. Mark Rylance played the lead role of Johnny "Rooster" Byron. Now, I've seen some pretty good acting, but I'm not just talking about his acting here...the energy that he put into the role was unimaginable. I still can't believe that he could perform that role twice in one day. His character kept growing and growing to the end where he just put his entire heart and soul into the character. I could go on and on about the show, but I just find myself saying the same thing over and amazed I was. Definitely worth being there for three hours and running to the theatre.

The next day, I got to see Ralph Fiennes in "The Tempest". Now, I'm not the biggest fan of "The Tempest", but I thought that the show was pretty good. But let me tell you, it was a long afternoon. This was another three hour show, but it only had one intermission. Plus we were all the way in the back (I didn't know they had audience seats this high up in a theatre) and the seats weren't really seats, they were wooden benches with a little bit of padding. So that's wasn't very fun. Plus the person in front of me was a little too tall...but eventually it was ok. They incorporated what I thought was some great lighting and decent areal work. I worked with some areal stuff in High School and saw some cool tricks, so I was totally impressed, but it was still cool. Didn't love this one, but still was a cool thing to see. For some reason everyone always wants to do weird things to "The Tempest"...but I'm not sure what else there is to do...something to think about.

So one week, three big shows all in the West End...I'm a pretty happy guy.

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