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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Deep Blue Sea - National Theatre - and National Opens New Season

From the National Gallery it was straight over the bridge to southbank and the National Theatre to see Rattigan's 'The Deep Blue Sea', . The lead is played by the inimitable Helen McCrory, whom I saw in Medea, which, like this play, was also directed by Carrie Cracknell.

The play is set in a flat in Ladbroke Grove in the 1950s. Hester Collyer, an artist, lives with Freddie Page, ex-RAF and now an unemployed test pilot. But she remains married to Judge Collyer, which becomes apparent when Hester's flat has to be broken into when she turns the gas on and attempts to kill herself. And so the story of Freddie and Hester unravels, all whilst her husband the Judge makes clear he wants his wife back. I enjoyed the performances, which were polished and emotive - McCrory clearly ringing herself of the torture the character is in, not helped by the fact that her work is clearly not selling, and Freddie is on the golf course trying to network himself into a desperately needed new…

George Shaw - Back to Nature

Today was probably the worst kind of day to traipse around central Lomdon; hot, sticky, humid. And there was little respite in what should be, in my opinion, cool, shady halls of the National Gallery. We came to see George Shaw's 'Back to Nature', the result of a two year residency at the Gallery. Shaw paints in ceramic - the sort of paint boys use on kit models. And the effect is lustrous. Some of his work echoes that of the photographer Tom Walker. George became known primarily when he was shortlisted for the Turner. His photolike pictures of suburban scenes seem to evoke a paradoxical nostalgia and suburban numbness. There is little to feel numb about in back to nature though - each picture is set in or is woodland; verdant and dark, and plenty of synonyms and symbolism of the objectified woman and the destruction of man. Tossed depicts a pile of torn up pages from a porno mag scattered on the dark soil. Where Shaw truly excels is in depicting trees as sinister; my husb…

Ross - Chichester Festival Theatre - George Shaw at the National Gallery 'My back to nature'.

Last Friday we attended the first night of Ross at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Ross was the nom de guerre of T.E. Lawrence, aka 'Lawrence of Arabia', a role played admirably by Joseph Fiennes.  The play used Lawrence's time in the RAF, post-Arabia' as a frame through which his main drama could be told; of his time in Arabia. The CFT was the perfect theatre to tell this story and all seats were taken. The play introduced a spot of multi-media with a projector screen flickering old arabesque clips and music. The melancholy of the piece was shot through with black humour. No actor could ever meet the performance of Peter O'Toole, but Fiennes made a good go of it, succeeding in reaching some of the same moods. 8/10.

This week I am excited to be planning to go to the National for George Shaw's Back to Nature exhibition. I love Shaw's work - it's genuinely fresh and yet old at the same time, using, as he does his enamel paint. This exhibition seems to dr…