18 May, 2008

Cultural Differences

on the tube last night, going up to see Henry VI part 3, there were 3 Spanish people at the end of our carriage who looked, respectively, like Hugh Jackman, Penelope Cruz and a young Christopher Walken, laughing and carrying on and generally doing the whole beautiful people thing, like members of another species, while the rest of us normal sorts sat there looking very plain and glum.

They got off at Bank and were replaced by 4 Italians. 2 of them sat together at one end of the row of seats and inspected their new shoes (one was black with a white heel and the other was white with a black heel). The other 2 sat at the other end of the row of seats. All 4 carried on an enthusiastic conversation from one end of the row to the other. We couldn't work out why they didn't sit closer together (there were odd seats spare), until we worked out that that would have meant that 3 would have been sitting together and 1 on his own, which is apparently against the Italian religion. No man left behind! And of course they had no qualms about being in breach of one of the major tenets of the British religion, which is not carrying on an audible conversation in the tube, unless well lubricated with alcohol.

The whole audience at the Roundhouse was in the state of febrile excitement that you might expect of a set of people who had already seen 7 hours of Shakespeare that day, as they are putting on all 8 plays this weekend over the space of 2 1/2 days. Jonathan Slinger doing Richard of Gloucester was simply electrifying. Can't wait for his Richard III next Sunday. I'm so so glad we signed up to see the whole cycle. I have not seen anything in the theatre so exciting since, well, I don't know when. It has revived my interest in theatre, Shakespeare, in everything really. Except my job of course.


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