Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rain, rudeness, and hasty packing.

There's a scene in Hay Fever which epitomizes the arrogant ill-manners of the ironically named Bliss family as they compel their four bewildered house guests to play a game of  'In the manner of ' after supper. (Incidentally Felicity Kendal's Judith Bliss offering a flower in a winsome manner was the highlight of the show.) Dysfunctional behaviour dressed up as bohemianism is as close to a storyline as you get from this script, revived by Theatre Royal Bath as a vehicle for Ms Kendal who is simply fantastic as in the central role ~ the rest of the cast, while probably good actors in other roles, couldn't do much to lift this farce about awkward pauses and rudeness which Noel Coward apparently wrote to lampoon some of his acquaintances. "I did the whole thing in three days and I didn't even rewrite" he claimed. A pity he didn't take a few more days and seek a dramaturge: someone with the succinct wit of Oscar Wilde or the good-humour of PG Wodehouse might have helped him create character and story to enhance the ridicule. But the two-tier set is great and so is the lighting and the deluging rain that traps them in a huis clos situation.  Director Lindsay Posner.

No more reports on the southwest scene  for three weeks now as I'm away, heading first to the magical island of Skyros to lead a writing group for two weeks. Here's an eagle's eye view of the little town because I love it so much, but I'll be staying in the bamboo hut camp on the far side ~ with fabulous sunsets but limited internet access. Compensations include sunshine, great meals, meeting old friends and making new ones, yoga, singing and dance, and my final week will be spent in another inspirational environment working with writers: Cortijo Romero in Spain is also without wifi but with added benefits, including gorgeous gardens and a pool, so I guess I'll cope...

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