I posted about Harold Pinter’s Old Times a few weeks ago – I was over-the-moon when in a lecture on Tuesday on reading drama at the end of the class the lecturer asked three students onto the stage, where they read the first ten minutes of the play culminating in Anna’s monologue about London. The first read-through was done with a dominating man, a passive woman, and an ecstatic Anna; the second time was done with an anxiously affectionate husband, a laughing wife, and a dominating, deeply knowing Anna. I struggle to control my facial expressions when watching any acting (film or theatre), so I have no doubt I looked like a slaw-jawed child at Chuck-E-Cheese.
Theatre is becoming an increasing interest of mine; it’s something that’s popped up inexplicably with more and more frequency. It all started with the Tom Stoppard rash earlier this year. I saw Michael Gambon in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape on Saturday night (see photo; more later), and I’m thinking of doing a paper on Beckett in Trinity (spring) term. I’ve been reviewing plays for the Oxford Theatre Review, which is an online review (free plays, sign me up!) and saw Sir Arnold Wesker read two weeks ago. And the famous South African playwright Athol Fugard spoke in Oxford this evening as the Humanitas Professor of Theatre (more later) with the playwrights Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem) and Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Her Naked Skin). And – I may be starting a theatre company with two ladies, depending on whether the play we’d like to put on next term gets selected for the Burton-Taylor theatre to stage. It’s all so sudden.