Monday, 2 November 2009

I bet they still haven't found what they're looking for

After a little trip to my Blogger account to see if my visitor count has reached double figures, I've spent some time speculating on what exactly would lead you to type the words 'Stalin dancing' into a search engine. And then just what that visitor would feel when they ended up here.

Sorry anyway, whoever you are.

Update: Just done the sensible thing and googled it for myself and found this and this

I love the internet.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


I’ve always put off going to see Endgame on the basis that, as with the heavy end of literature or swimming the channel, you need to work up to it, and I’ve never really felt that I am out of the shallow end of my theatre going. But when I found out that Mark Rylance was appearing as Hamm in the Complicite production at the Duchess Theatre I decided it was worth getting rid of my armbands and going for it.

Actually, I don’t know what I was worried about really. I’m not saying I understood it all, but it appears to me that was part of the point. The cast seemed to me to bring this very stagey piece to life very well, so that, although I was often mystified, it somehow seemed as if we were all in together. I loved the tenderness between Miriam Margolyes and Tom Hickey as Nell and Nagg, and once I had got past Simon McBurney’s clowning (is it supposed to be that cheesy?) I thought he managed the role of Clov very well, trapped in his relationship with Hamm, partly by being the only character with the power of movement.

Mark Rylance was, of course, as absorbing to watch as always, and the absolute centre of the play in all senses. An exceptionally physical actor anyway, it was intriguing how he managed to convey a kind of balletic quality to every movement he made, regardless of the fact that he remained fixed to his wheelchair throughout. He coaxed the humour and pathos out of every possible line and, despite the theatricality of the whole play, managed to avoid it ever feeling forced.

Hamm asks ‘We're not beginning to ... ... mean something?’ Well yes, I think they did, even if only when seen out of the corner of my eye.