6 posts categorized "Favourite theatre souvenirs" Feed

Review: Corpses and coffins in Loot, Park Theatre

This review contains potential spoilers
. There is an open coffin on the stage. I have a thing about bodies in boxes and its freaking me out a little bit - that's no dummy body. Fortunately once the play starts, its pace is such that it works as a distraction until there is something else that makes me squirm in my seat - but I'll come onto that.

Joe Orton's dark farce takes place on the day of Mrs McLeavy's funeral. Her nurse, Mrs McMahon (Sinead Matthews), is a devout Catholic but her motives are more financial. Hal McLeavy (Sam Frenchum) and his friend Dennis (Calvin Demba) also have their own motives for being interested in the funeral - the bank next door to the funeral parlour (where Dennis works) has been robbed. Throw in a straight-laced and gullible widower (Ian Redford) and a suspicious but unscrupulous copper (Christopher Fulford) and you've got a play of scheming, manipulation, dodging and evasion.

There is great farcical comedy here as a game of cat and mouse ensues with Mr McLeavy a pawn in the middle. It is brilliantly executed but for the fact that Mrs McLeavy's body does come in for quite a bit of manhandling which is where the seat squirming comes in. It's a personal thing and I'm sure doesn't bother everyone in the same way, but I find it hard laughing when an old lady's body (remember this isn't a dummy) is being stripped and then stuffed unceremoniously into a cupboard. Full marks to Anah Rudin who plays the corpse though (she got a cheer at the curtain call).

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These are a few of our favourite theatre things: @trpw has a gas with Arthur Miller

Written by @trpw who hosts the As Yet Unnamed London Theatre Podcast (@ayultp)

CrucibleMillerI have a horrible feeling that the most memorable thing, for some people, about the 1990 production of The Crucible in the Olivier at the National Theatre, is that the Proctor's farmhouse set kept breaking down. I'm not sure that they got the chimney raised properly on the night I went but it is more memorable to me for a couple of other reasons.

Firstly, I'd studied the play for O-Level and there's always something special about the books and plays that you study at school. Secondly, I sort of met Arthur Miller.

The actual production doesn't live strongly in my memory. I think I enjoyed it but I can't remember too much smouldering passion between Tom Wilkinson's John Proctor and Clare Holman's Abigail Williams.

As I was leaving the theatre I passed Arthur Miller standing outside the Mezzanine Restaurant. I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss and asked for his autograph. Any remnants of bravado melted into embarrassment as he took out his pen and prepared to sign, so I opened my programme on a random clear-looking page

I haven't asked for anyone else's autograph since that evening but, then again, I've got a British Gas advert signed by Arthur Miller so I don't need to.

Other favourite theatre things posts:

Weez's bloody trousers

Pockeful's not so Trivial Pursuit

How David Tennant's newspaper inspired @_faeriequeen

If you have an interesting object you'd like to tell us about drop me a line:rightrevstan@gmail.com



These are a few of our favourite theatre things: Or how David Tennant's newspaper inspired @_faeriequeen

Written by @_faeriequeen

IMG_0257[1]To anyone who has got to know me in the last five years or so, it could come as a surprise that there was a time where I wasn’t particularly obsessed with going to the theatre and wasn’t determined to make a career in the industry!

My object – part of a prop newspaper – is from the Tribute to Look Back in Anger that was held at the Royal Court on 8 May 2006 as part of its 50th Birthday Celebrations; an event which helped precipitate what has now become a lasting passion for theatre and, it could be argued, helped shape how my life has now turned out.

At that time I was probably at the height of my David Tennant ‘appreciation’ (I liked him before Doctor Who, I’ll have you know) and it was his involvement in this event that really spurred me into buying a ticket, along with a group of other fans from the forum on his fansite that I used to frequent.

My ticket was supposed to be for a seat at the back of the stalls somewhere, but fate would have it that one of the other girls wasn’t able to make it at the last minute, so I took the spare seat, which happened to be bang in the centre
of the front row!

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These are a few of our favourite theatre things: @pocketful's not so Trivial Pursuit

Written by @pocketful

IMG00042-20120206-2209My name is Chris and I’m a kleptomaniac.

Please, put away your outdated misconceptions for a moment – you’ll not find me shuffling out of Tesco with frozen turkey between my thighs or anything remotely so kitchen-sink. I am a THEATRICAL kleptomaniac.

Props, my friends. Props. Nothing crucial to the plot or anything like that – you won’t see me bolting out of a theatre clutching Jean Valjean’s candlesticks or find me spectacularly missing the point and clambering onstage to try and make off with Macbeth’s illusionary dagger. That said, if it’s not nailed down, I’ll have it. If it IS nailed down, then pass the claw hammer.

It all began with being handed a juicebox for my turn in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (now centre-stage on my mantelpiece), and somehow escalated to plain old theft at Inadmissible Evidence, rifling through the boxes littered around the office set, and stuffing sheaves of letters into my bag.

I’m not proud of this. But I’m not ashamed, either. I think they make for far better souvenirs than, say, tickets – a pile of which has been gathering steam on my chest of drawers and is now legally a fire hazard and will remain so 'til the day I choose to fashion them into some kind of tapestry/quilt/Technicolor Dreamcoat.

And yes, it makes me look like some kind of extreme hoarder, poised to be evicted while Channel 4 watches on, but I do love my little collection of objets. I’m basically The Little Mermaid.

There is one item among my haul which I cherish most of all. Those of you lucky or plucky enough to have seen Jerusalem will have borne witness to one of the most blistering stage performances in recent memory, and a play that calls out to the numb disillusionment of a nation, all the while conjuring memories of pastoral sunsets and the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. There will quite frankly never be another like it - it fuses tales of tall giants with tall tales of Girls Aloud. Oh and Trivial Pursuit.

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These are a few of our favourite theatre things: @Weez's Bloody Trousers

28122011158Written by @Weez  who writes the Notes From The Earlham Street Gutter blog

My object of choice is this pair of delightfully dysentery-stained trousers as worn by the Ghost of Henry V (Geoffrey Streatfeild) in the RSC’s recent production of Henry VI Part 1.

The RSC were having a wardrobe clearout, and although I couldn’t go myself, my friend was planning to go and promised to get me something I might like, which in this case apparently meant gruesome yet historically accurate trousers.

The RSC production of Henry V literally changed my life, and the Histories Cycle remains the single greatest weekend I have ever experienced.

To me, these trousers are not only a physical memento from that ambitious production, but also hugely symbolic.

Firstly, they're symbolic of the fact that plays - like kings - will eventually come to an end. And while it’s okay to mourn the passing of a Henry V, there’s no reason to stay down, because there’ll be a Henry VI along in due course.

But more than that, they’re also a reminder of the fact I’ve got to know a whole bunch of other theatre nerds over the last year or so, and they’re all wonderfully kind and generous people, who’ll pick up cool things for you from RSC jumble sales, or book a ticket on your behalf, or just be there for a good nerdy chat at the interval or over coffee or on Twitter.

While theatre remains one of the most enjoyable solitary pastimes I have, it turns out that it's even more fun when you have awesome people to share it with. And, of course, a pair of blood-spattered trousers.

If you want to read more about the 'Our Favourite Theatre Things' project on the Rev Stan blog and how you can contribute click here.


Introducing: These are a few of our favourite theatre things

This was @polyg's idea last year, inspired by the Royal Shakespeare Company's celebration of 50 years with 50 objects. Why not, said Poly, get our fellow theatre-goers to write about a favourite object they have in their possession from or associated with a play. 

Brilliant, said I, and started tentatively floating the idea around. Well a few months and a bit of cajoling later we are sort of ready to start. The target is one object/souvenir/story a month for the year but if I can persuade more people to share their stories, then they may become more frequent. 

The first favourite theatre object/story is posted here and if you have a story you'd like to share on the Rev Stan Theatre blog drop me an email. It can be a signed programme, a prop, a ticket stub, even an encounter - anything that has a special theatre-based memory attached to it really - and have an accompanying picture.

Hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I do and am looking forward to (if all of the promised stories are delivered there are some real treats coming up, one involves Arthur Miller but that's all I'll say.)