Waiting for Godot – Lyceum

Wow…. It’s interesting. As I said earlier, it is definitely an absurdist play – emphasis on absurd. Brian Cox and Bill Paterson were fabby- embodying these archetypes of characters through body language and expression – Creating two comedic slapstick tramps.

The set was minimalist and effective – creating a simple set by which the audience can focus on the actors instead. A tree in the centre being used as an effect in lieu with the lighting. The tree being a large point of conversation with the possibility of one hanging themselves. It being used to portray the time passing and the lack of time passing.

The show itself however – wasn’t personally my cup of tea. For me, the character acting of the slapstick tramps, brought down the profundity of the show. The snippets of philosophy surrounded by gags and jokes, making the philosophy seem unimportant – almost turning it into a pantomime – the effect complete by many of the jokes falling flat.

However if you get through the first act,the second act is far more fruitful, bringing the piece to a whole- explaining the symbolism and  importance of the piece – showing the importance of some of the earlier phrases which were missed when they were first mentioned. Finishing of the piece nicely and actually providing some sense to the play, by confusing the audience more

Leading on from that – It did feel like I watched the same show twice. with many of the jokes repeated for comedic effect, or emphasis – however after the 3rd or 4th time… It just wasn’t as funny. The same gags and profound sentences just lost their effect.

A friend who saw it with me said. ‘It was like Salvador Dali did a play’ Which I would completely agree with. All in all It was a good production the lighting and set, aiding the actors brilliant acting… However the script/play wasn’t my cup of tea.

Waiting For Godot

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is an absurdist play, just recently opening Lyceum’s 50th anniversary season with Brian Cox and Bill Paterson. It’s a tragicomedy in two acts about two tramps ‘Waiting for Godot’, whilst shenanigans go on, ranging from eating a carrot to contemplating suicide. I am going to see this tonight at The Lyceum as part of my Advanced Higher Drama course. I’m actually really looking forward to it. I have heard some amazing reviews. The Stage’s editor said it was a must see for this month- I will keep you up to date and post a review tomorrow.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Rosencrantz: Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with the lid on it? Nor do I really. Silly to be depressed by it. I mean, one thinks of it like being alive in a box. One keeps forgetting to take into account that one is dead. Which should make all the difference. Shouldn’t it? I mean, you’d never know you were in a box would you? It would be just like you were asleep in a box. Not that I’d like to sleep in a box, mind you. Not without any air. You’d wake up dead for a start and then where would you be? In a box. That’s the bit I don’t like, frankly. That’s why I don’t think of it. Because you’d be helpless wouldn’t you? Stuffed in a box like that. I mean, you’d be in there forever. Even taking into account the fact that you’re dead. It isn’t a pleasant thought. Especially if you’re dead, really. Ask yourself: if I asked you straight off I’m going to stuff you in this box now – would you rather to be alive or dead?
Naturally you’d prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You’d have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking, well, at least I’m not dead. In a minute, somebody’s going to bang on the lid and tell me to come out. (knocks) “Hey you! What’s your name? Come out of there!”

This is one of my favourite monologues from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead- I think this could be done genderless and In lieu of Hamlet I thought I’d share this with you. The play is based off two of the characters from Hamlet – Rosencrantz and  GuildensternClose friends and physicians of Hamlet who are killed in the uprising in Denmark

Hamlet – Barbican Theatre

So recently I had the pleasure of seeing Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre down in London, produced by Sonia Friedman and Directed by Lydnesy Turner, with the headline actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, playing Hamlet.

I personally love Shakespeare, as one of the best theatrical playwrights of all time – Hamlet is definitely one of my favourite plays of his, the iconic (for a reason) ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy one of my favourite monologues of all time, Cliché I know.

One of the things Lydnesy Turner did with the piece, was to convey Hamlet’s madness, as if Hamlet was a small child. They used toy soldiers and wooden guns, for Hamlet to play with and dress up as – Creating the effect of him being a 5yr old boy. Like Hamlet played with the toy soldiers, he – indirectly – played with the revolution of Denmark.16_-Benedict-Cumberbatch-(Hamlet)-in-Hamlet-at-the-Barbican-Theatre

Benedict Cumberbatch was magnificent. His acting having this level of intensity throughout the three hour performance was outstanding. He managed to create, along with the lighting and staging – this intimate relationship with the audience, in a huge theatre.

Speaking of staging- The set was absolutely spectacular. Lavish, magnificent and regal, truly a set worthy of a royal family. In the second half of the performance – the set was destroyed, covered in rubble and dirt – showing the microcosm of Denmark – The lavish palace in ruins. Denmark in ruins after the revolution.

I personally adored the costume – As it wasn’t set in any particular era – It meant the designer could be quite flexible with it. The Queen Mother and King in traditional garments – showing the older generation and the older way of thinking- The characters like Hamlet and Horatio in more modern clothes – showing the newer generation and ways of thinking. Also Hamlet was dressed in darker colours throughout the play – bar the toy soldier outfit – to show his grief and how that warped him. Until the last scene where he dies with a white jacket on – showing his innocence, surrounded by the royal court dressed in black.

On a personal note – This was very special for me – To see my favourite actor perform my favourite monologue was fantastic and everything was just so intimate- It was like you were the only one in the theatre with the actors. Also I managed to get his autograph and a chance to tell him how brilliant his acting was – and high fived Matthew Steer – Rosencrantz

A Friendly Hello

So, Hi.

My Name is Charlotte, and I have created this blog to rant about, review and discuss Theatre. I love theatre and discussing it, and will update and review shows that I have seen as often as I can. I am living in the UK and hopefully will go and study Drama and Acting at Uni. So I will leave you with that for now.