Saw Stockwell at the Tricycle theatre. It's verbatim theatre: a dramatization of the inquest into the de Menezes killing, with the dialogue taken entirely from the transcript.
Wasn't sure how well this would work in real life: thought it might just be real enough to be boring. However, it was cleverly done.
Firstly, they take extracts out of order to create a dramatic structure. It starts with friends of de Menezes, then a dramatic cross-examination, then they go back to the start and the characters introduce themselves. This defers the exposition until after the momentum's built up and the audience are with the characters.
Secondly, the actors don't just act out the courtroom scenes. As the characters describe what they did, the narrating actors act out what happened on the day of the shooting, so the audience sees what happened.
Despite being cut down, I think the play gives everyone a fair hearing.
Cressida Dick and the operation room management come across badly. They were not really in control of the situation: they didn't circulate good photos of Osman (the terrorist de Menezes was mistaken for) they weren't aware of details like the location of bus stops. They didn't even realise the block of flats had a shared entrance and that the surveillance team couldn't tell who had emerged from which flat. They were ambiguous with their orders. At Stockwell they switched responsibility for "stopping" de Menezes from SO19, to the intelligence team, to SO19 again.
SO19 don't come across quite so badly, but it depends how much of their testimony you believe. They claim that they warned him they were police, and that he advanced towards them: the other witnesses deny the first bit and don't seem to verify he second.
Overall, both a good play and an informative documentary. Well worth seeing.
Got a terrible rating on rottentomatoes, but it's not quite that bad. Pretty formulaic, and the protagonist is soppier than in the original, but does have some nice scenery in the background. The exposition does get a bit dull at times though.
Not unwatchable, but not recommended unless you really want to see a movie.
Also, the reviewers talk a lot about Kate Beckinsale getting her kit off, but it might be a different edit in the UK: all you see are her shoulders.
Sunday morning saw a bunch of reports like this about an alleged EDL fascist protest in Trafalgar Square. Wandered down there and around the area after my normal trawl through the Charing Cross Road bookshops, but they didn't show up while I was around, so I went home.
Turned out there was a fairly small protest at Piccadilly Circus, but I'd gone by then.
Pics. Glass viruses.
Theatre. Mother Courage preview truncated. Does seem a bit off: the Don Taylor book I read pointed out that theatre normally has very high standards when it comes to delivering on time.
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