At the centre of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want ~ Lao Tzu

Monday, October 18

A grand day out

i had a wonderful day on saturday!

i braved the train - for the first time since the stroke - and headed to sheffield, where a friend from harrogate met me. we then had a leisurely early lunch before the matinee performance at the crucible...

of course it was a full house, for a truly excellent performance!

john simm is one of my favourite actors, and once i'd got used to his voice - it sounded higher than usual - whether it was showing the strain of the past 50+ performances, or it was his interpretation of a teenage prince, i'm not sure - i was completely enthralled!

every actor - except a couple - was at the top of his/her game - it was a true company performance. hugh ross played polonius for laughs, rather than the bumbling fool; dylan brown and adam foster were great as rosencrantz and guildenstern - as were all the supporting cast of guards/players; i loved colin tierney's horatio and michelle dockery and barbara flynn were excellent as ophelia and gertrude.

All of which allowed john simm the space to deliver a beautifully nuanced hamlet. his madness wasn't overly manic - as david tennant's portrayal had a tendency to be. at times, he was the understandably grieving son, and at others, the trunculent teenager - 'if you want me to be mad, i'll show you mad'. sometimes he was the most lucid, rational person on the stage working through the complex relationship with his mother - the disgust at the speed of her marriage to claudius mixed with oedipal undertones...

the only weak performances were by john nettles - sooooo out of his depth as claudius (though, he was a fine ghost, greatly aided by wonderful lighting and audio effects!); and tim delap as laertes, who's voice was clearly suffering the effects of multiple performances!

the script was brilliantly edited - it was a 3 hour performance with an interval - and flowed seamlessly; and the nicely produced programme is a wonderful reminder of a truly great day out :)

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