Friday, 31 December 2010

Another year....

As I become older, the years seem to pass ever more quickly. In a way, I think this is a good thing. There is a point in one's life when one stops becoming excited over the smallest, simplest things in a way that a child would, and starts to comprehend the realities of the world.

Anyway, I've decided to write a summary post for this year and what I hope will happen next year. First of all, my ten favourite theatre experiences of the year:

10. The press performance of "Legally Blonde the Musical" that I was lucky enough to attend.

Not only was the show a lot better than I thought it would be, but I got to meet and talk to a real theatre critic, which was a lovely and inspirational experience for me. It was a complete accident that I was there, because I actually had no idea that half the British press would be in that matinée...

9. Hailing "Macbeth" at the Globe

I finally understood how it really was for the Jacobeans, to be huddled in the pit in all weather condtions. Luckily, I was in a box, but boy did I feel for the groundlings. And Lady Macbeth, who nearly drowned in her coffin. As Mrs. Lovett would say, Poor Thing....

8. The Donmar

Of course I haven't actually been yet, but I have obtained what I thought to be the unobtainable! In 2010 I booked a ticket for Spelling Bee, and a ticket for Luise Miller. I know I have quite a long wait until I go, but I am ecstatic that I have finally managed to get tickets for Donmar productions at the Donmar, without resulting to the day seat queue. Now I must mention the announcement of Michael Grandage's departure and the lingering question over who will replace him....

7. The lack of "Next to Normal"

I couldn't resist this one. Having received the cast recording for Christmas, and having fallen in love with it, I am now even more incredulous as to why this is not scheduled for a run at the National, or any another subsidised theatre, where it would probably be very succesful. I have absolutely no interest in "Shrek", and wish that this were coming over instead....

6. "Hamlet (en trente minutes..)"

The title refers both to the thought provoking interpretation at the National and the comedy rewrite that I saw when in France. Having disliked (or did I just not understand it?) Shakespeare's work until I saw "Macbeth", I decided that, what with the play no longer being on the A Level curriculum, it was time for me to tackle "Hamlet". It is now one of my new favourite things. That is all.

5. An adventure in Edinburgh

Seeing five shows in one day with almost as many reluctant family members in tow was never going to be easy. But we managed it, and what a day it was.

4. The French Play

A memorable outing with my Dad, where right up until the last minute I had him convinced that Cocteau's "Les Parents Terribles" would actually be performed in the original language. Sigh. We can only hope....

3. Independence Day

Wednesay 24th August 2010 will be remembered forever as the day that I was finally allowed to go to London by myself. "The Habit of Art" could not have been a better choice for the occasion, what with me having been an Auden fan since I was thirteen.

2. Getting my foot in the door

2010 was the year that I was finally old enough, and indeed blessed with enough free time, to get a job in a theatre. Working front of house is more fun than I ever imagined it would be, and I have seen so many things so far that I never would have considered seeing normally. I really hope I can continue with my job for as long as possible.

1. "The woods are a metaphor for life...."

I agree wholely with Timothy Sheader, and also with all the critics, who, like me, fell in love with the revival of Sondheim's "Into the Woods" at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. I had loved Sondheim's music for so long, so to finally see one of his musicals was absolutely amazing. The cast were fantastic, and, coupled with the setting and slightly dodgy weather made for a spectacle that I don't think I will forget for a long time. I simply cannot stop listening to the cast recording, and each time I hear something new.

I was lucky enough to see many fantastic productions in 2010, but these are the ones that really stick in my mind. In 2011, I am going to try and concentrate on seeing a greater variety of even more shows but for less money. So far, I have six tickets booked, at an average price of £10, so I think I am doing quite well. Of course, I will never equal the achievements of the man I overheard at "Les Parents Terribles", who already had sixty booked, but what with my job, you never know.

Looking into 2011, here are eleven productions that I'm really looking forward to:

1. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Donmar Warehouse
2. Luise Miller, Donmar Warehouse
3. Twelfth Night, Cottesloe, National Theatre
4. Frankenstein, Olivier, National Theatre
5. Betty Blue Eyes, Novello
6. Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's Globe
7. Cause Celebre, The Old Vic
8. Sweeney Todd, Chichester
9. Crazy For You, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
10. Blithe Spirit, Apollo
11. The Children's Hour, Comedy (Only if I can find a seat which is worth the price it is being sold for)

The first five are already booked, which is really exciting! Of course, this list will grow to an impossible length throughout the year, but I feel I have made a good start so far with my planning.

I am now in the definite list frame of mind, so will write some more lists for 2011. It will be fun to look back on them at the end of 2011 (a scary thought) and see what I have achieved. Here I am writing my arts related lists, but I will also make a personal one, which will regretfully not be posted in public:

11 pieces of literature that I must tackle:

1. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffry Chaucer
2. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
3. King Lear - William Shakespeare
4. A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
5. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
6. Emma - Jane Austen
7. Vanity Fair - William Thackery
8. The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
9. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
10. The Voyage Out - Virginia Woolf
11. The Crucible - Arthur Miller

11 aims for my French:

1. Re-draft my philosophy essay, perhaps giving it a new title, so it ends up as the best thing that I've ever written in French
2. Les Parents Terribles - Jean Cocteau
3. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
4. La Peste - Albert Camus
5. Research, and write about, the French Revolution
6. Work really hard to improve my grammar
7. Practice speaking, especially how to intone/show emotion without sounding contrived
8. Watch several films that I haven't previously seen
9. Actually do the listening practice that I always set out to do
10. Read a lot more to improve my standard of written communication
11. Do as well as I possibly can in my AS.

11 aims for my German:

1. Learn as much as I can whilst on work experience
2. Take advantage of every opportunity whilst in Berlin during the summer
3. Das Annolied
4. Fruehlingserwachen - Frank Wedekind
5. In addition, read at least one book every fortnight
6. Read as many newspaper articles as possible
7. Continue to perfect my grammar
8. Actively learn as much varied vocabularly as possible
9. Work hard on my accuracy whilst speaking
10. Again, expand the range of films that I have seen
11. Finally, just like French, do as well as I possibly can in my AS.

11 films that I must see:

1. The Godfather
2. Mulholland Drive
3. Annie Hall
4. La Strada
5. The Shawshank Redemption
6. Sunset Boulevard
7. Fight Club
8. It's a Wonderful Life
9. Das Boot
10. The Graduate
11. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Now I think I will conclude this exceptionally long post. I know it is over two hours away, but Happy New Year!

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