That was the week that was
To Soho Theatre on Tuesday evening to see Address Unknown, a short epistolary play about two old friends and their relationship when one leaves US for his native Germany, whilst the Jewish Max remains. Beautiful set design, comprised two offices. As soon as I realised they'd just be reading letters to and from each other I frowned and sighed. But it maintained a compelling pace, with a few well-placed peaks. What I found striking were some of the parallels with today; of 1930s Germany and its austerity and collective shame and guilt from the First World War. The UK has never, it seems, been more aware of its colonialist past and the consequences of it. Even David Cameron has apologised for some things. But in eras of austerity, one often finds growths of extremes - on both sides of the political spectrum. And so from this mood Hilter, the failed and thwarted artist, came to power, offering the people a sense of pride and purpose. And a scapegoat. Towards the end it felt a bit like the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, but this play was adapted from a much earlier text. I recommend it. The only gripe - yet again - is allowing people into theatres, even theatres as laid back as Soho, after the play has begun!
Last night I returned to Soho. First we stopped off for an early bite at the Groucho. I hadn't been there in a good fifteen years. I was twenty-five then. Sigh. I went for the twice-baked goat's cheese soufflé, which was heavenly. My friend had the sea bass with fennel. For pud, I went for the poached peach, which I was a bit disappointed with. For some reason I had expected it warm, like my own delicious (better!) baked peach! Friend had the incredibly indulgent Eton Mess, which I helped her with! We returned up the road to Soho Theatre to see David Baddiel try out new material on the nature of 'fame'. I met him and his partner, Morwenna Banks, at a party years ago. Not that he'd ever remember. Although he recalled to us many a party anecdote featuring Andrew Lloyd Webber, which was very funny. I loved that he talked a bit about Peter Gabriel, who I've always loved. It was an intimate, sometimes vulnerable set from Baddiel. It was more of a funny essay on the nature of fame; that tricky thing that to which so many people aspire. And prominently features Twitter, which was a very good touch. And then it ends with a clip of his daughter, singing. Beautiful voice.
Tomorrow I'm off to the Tricycle cinema to watch the film of Twelfth Night, which starred Mark Rylance, and Fry as Malvolio. Preceded - or followed by - a Q&A.
Only a week to go until Othello at the National.