Thursday, 4 February 2016

My Week at the Theatre

So this week has been very busy for me! You'll be getting any other post soon about my recent trip to Northern Ireland but for now, I'll tell you about my immediate trip to the theatre tonight. Also check out the new Sheffield Theatres website which is very colourful and full of jaunty angles! It's much easier to navigate and soon there will be the option to buy Live for 5 tickets online.

The Crucible and the Lyceum

Tonight I went to see King Charles III at the Lyceum. I'm going to say straight off that I'm still not entirely sure if I enjoyed this play. I mean, it’s a really clever concept but it felt a bit jolted. The premise of the play is a pretty simple one: it revolves around the immediate aftermath of the Queen's death and how Charles can prove himself as a ruler. But it is executed as if it is a Shakespearean history play, though set in the future. The writing is very much in that Shakespeare mode - blank verse and iambic pentameter. It was incredibly self-consciously Shakespearean and I felt as though it was a mixture of Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Richard II. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, even though I'm not sure what I was expecting. The main theme was personal and national identity as all the characters try to work out who they are within the public and private spheres. The set and the acting were very good, I'm just a little unsure of the concept as a whole. This show is a touring production so is only on at the Lyceum for a couple more days. I would definitely recommend seeing it if you want to see a play that will make you think and it is a fabulous play to analyse! And for £5 (if you're 16-25) it’s worth it. If you can't make it to Sheffield, the next performance is on at Brighton Theatre Royal.

I will update this post at the weekend after I have been to see Waiting for Godot at the Crucible, but make sure to get your Live for 5 tickets for this weekend if you are at all interested!
Waiting for Waiting for Godot

So Waiting for Godot is one of those plays that most people have heard of but not many have seen performed. It’s one of those standard GCSE/A-Level texts which might put off some people because they’ve studied it to death, though may never have had the chance to see it live. Honestly, I think these sorts of texts are better to see live rather than reading them in a classroom because then you can catch the humour in the text and different theatre interpretations are always useful to help analyse the text. I find that Beckett – being an avant-garde writer – is more interested in exploring theatre rather than narrative and this was portrayed through the use of a very stark and minimal set – it seemed very post-apocalyptic. The plot is very minimal too and I think best summed up by the critic Vivian Mercier: "Waiting for Godot has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats. What's more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, Beckett has written a play in which nothing happens, twice". The plot itself is literally two men waiting for the unknown Mr. Godot and waiting in vain. The plot is so incredibly frustrating because they do not remember anything and so a lot of the speech is repeated in a slightly different way or at slightly different times. The acting was very good – Lorcan Cranitch and Jeff Rawle, who played Vladimir and Estragon, were on stage all the time and kept the audiences’ interest, even with the very minimal plot, through their humour and constant back-and-forth lines. I would definitely recommend seeing Waiting for Godot to everyone because it is a funny play, just don’t expect to understand it! Because Beckett was good friends with James Joyce, I think anyone doing the Modern Literature module this semester should definitely make the effort to go to see it because it is a great way to ease yourself into the crazy world of modern lit! And Live for 5 tickets have been extended to all performances so no one has any excuses not to go see it! Waiting for Godot is on at the Crucible until the 27th of February.  

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