01 October 2007

People to see

We had a very harrowing evening at the theatre this past Friday. The theatre is the very last place one would expect to be harrowed (unless you’ve been misfortunately cast in a Martin Amis novel) but on a Friday night in the west end of London anything is possible.

It was the second performance of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross at the Apollo and as subdued theatregoers milled about with a modest glass of wine in hand, the swinging doors suddenly flung to and a gaggle of gassed up lads walked in bellowing WOAH, THIS PLACE IS JUMPING.

As sardonically observed, the place was perhaps not ‘jumping,’ though surely a few patrons jumped a bit at the unexpected commotion.

I guess it wasn’t much of a surprise when, after Bruce and I had settled into our seats, this obnoxious troupe took up residence in the row directly behind us. What did surprise me though was the interactive enjoyment these boys took in the script, which tickled their funny bone via the connecting ‘foul language’ and ‘racist commentary’ bones. It was a nightmare.

The play itself was alright, in spite of an actor appealing backstage for a forgotten line and a few lacklustre deliveries of some of my most fond filmic recollections of the play. The boys had done their homework too, though, and like a sonic boom they emitted catch phrases in Tourette-inspired helplessness minutes before the actors could voice them onstage.

All this annoyance was thankfully contained within a few rows towards the back, but the actors could certainly tell something was amiss due to the excessive shushing that filtered through.

Bruce has asked me to write a letter to the theatre in the hopes that they’ll give us free passes to see the play again. We think they should have attempted to do something to uphold convention, if only to show that it matters.

Anyway, we made up for it on Saturday by going to see Yella at the cinema, which I’d recommend to anyone looking for a subtle intellectual thrill. I also recommend watching Half Nelson if you haven’t already. Ryan Gosling does a very convincing performance of a cracked out school teacher and the soundtrack of well-known Broken Social Scene tracks scarcely pierces the invention.

Coming up tomorrow is Lightspeed Champion at the 100 Club and then New Pornographers on Thursday, which – between dinner parties and a houseguest - makes for a very full week indeed.

I heard somewhere that the power dynamic is always unequal between two people in a relationship, in the sense that one usually loves the other more. Not in the saccharine ‘no, I love YOU more’ way but in the tragic manner of a less enthralled lover who can only bear or take advantage of the overwhelming attentions of his/her counterpart. So I count myself very fortunate in that respect, since I’m almost certainly matched in love.

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