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Well, it’s been a little while, but you know how these things go, right?
First up, massive props to the Y13 drama students. I was seriously impressed with the quality of the production and the obvious amount of work that had gone into the whole thing - y’all deserve this half term break, yo… Although, when I think of it, Dorsa kept splashing me and Miss Taylor, who kept complaining about how wet she was (which I thought was a little inappropriate), which made me more than a little uncomfortable. So there’s your audience feedback - well done guys (Dorsa), you made me feel uncomfortable. You made up for it with the “samosa” story though, so all is forgiven…
So hey-ho, after the Y13 drama on Thursday, I was all fired up for the National Theatre on Friday - we went to see Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. Written by Tom Stoppard and featuring a full orchestra on stage, this is the best thing I’ve seen at the National for ages. It’s the story of a Russian man, sent to a mental asylum for slandering the state. The guy he ends up sharing a cell with has an orchestra in his head - an orchestra which the audience see, as well as hear.
The play is quite typical Stoppard: sparkling fast witty dialogue, a historical interest and a few maths/science references thrown in for good measure. It’s nice and short, weighing in at just over an hour, and with the orchestra and the dancing it’s well balanced entertainment - none of this “theatre of the absurd” here!
So two days of dystopia to take me into the weekend. And then last night, Apocalypto! Despite my misgivings about Mel Gibson, this is one amazing film. It feels like a really bad trip. It just looks absolutely amazing. I didn’t mean to watch it but I just got sucked in about halfway through. This was certainly the most disturbing of my dystopic viewing recently - it’s all in Mayan, and is about this guy who gets taken captive and marched off to the Mayan capital (or something) to be given as a gift to the gods. There are some really graphic, brutal scenes in it, and the hair and make-up department certainly deserve major credit and recognition. The film has a real threatening atmosphere to it, and the scene where the captives are taken to the city is - in a strange, intimidating way - very beautiful indeed. The vivid contrasting colour and the intense disorientating sound are wonderfully jarring and the images are suitably apocalyptic - a young boy working in some sort of open mine where all the workers are covered in fine white dust pukes deep red blood over his body, a toothless wrinkled old man with laughing sickness claws and clasps at the prisoners… seriously, it will disturb you.