Monday, 15 October 2012

Going over the top

There was a bit of a nuclear conflict in our house last Thursday between the teenagers.  It's been coming for a while as they have both developed in quite different ways over the last few years...there is a real clash of personalities and world outlook.  The fall out was still settling over the weekend, and will carry on for a while....which may be a challenge as we're all off on holiday in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully I've made it clear to both of them that they are old enough that they need to sort it out between themselves, rather than indulge in tit-for-tat 'they started it' tantrums.  But I have a feeling that it's going to be a real challenge unless one of them wants to show that they are big enough to make the first step to putting everything back in order.  I'm not sure that parental intervention at the moment would be the right thing.

There was a bit of a diary cock up some months ago, with the result that our Sunday was absurdly over-full. We knew it was coming, but couldn't find a solution that would sensibly work.

So in the afternoon we were at The Globe to watch a much praised performance of Twelfth Night - a production that has been very widely praised indeed.  So it came as a surprise that the first five minutes were dreadful, and the performance struggled to recover from that thereafter. Lines were tripped over, and the pace was...well not what it should have been, certainly in the first half.  The costumes were noticeably amazing.  I was completely spooked by the way Maria and Olivia moved around the stage, and their somewhat mad-making make-up...I can't quite put my finger on it, but I know that sooner or later they will feature in one of my nightmares...even on Monday morning I'm somewhat unsettled by the memory.  There was a stand out performance from Stephen Fry and another from Mark Rylance...but the person who excelled above them all was Paul Chahidi as the scurrilous felt it was a part that he'd wanted to play all his life and was just overjoyed to be performing.  Brilliant.  Of course, my perceptions may have been dimmed by restless Friday and Saturday nights, the fact that sitting watching Shakespeare outside in October is a chilling experience, and I was clock-watching.

As it wrapped up, we had to make a mad dash across town to get to George Michael who was playing at Earls Court.  I knew from attending a previous George Michael event that he starts early, and was pretty sure we were going to miss the beginning.  I wasn't that bothered because I remembered the last performance I'd seen was quite clinical and so there wasn't a high level of anticipation on my part.  But it's funny how things work.  We got there in plenty of time, and it was fabulous, fabulous was a real show, and he really made the audience feel that he was pleased to be there, pleased to have them there and was loving singing to us.  There were blinding versions of some of his classics from across the decades, and a remarkable version of The Police's Roxanne.  He was supported by an orchestra and the production was truly terrific - instead of the usual light show, there were hi-def visuals screened on to an enormous backdrop which were so realistic that you couldn't help feel that a flaming cross might at any moment drop down and burn us all.  A wonderful end to a long weekend.