The Book Of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges. Book of short articles about various mythological and fictional creatures. Quite interesting, better to flick through than read straight through.
Wikipedia has the full list of creatures mentioned.
Novecento at Trafalgar Studios. One man show where a jazz trumpet player who worked aboard a cruise ship tells the life story of his friend Novecento, who was born aboard the ship in the year 1900, became a brilliant self-taught pianist, and lived his whole life aboard the ship, never setting foot on land.
Brilliant play, loved everything about it. The script is crisp, moving elegantly the amusing to the tragic, hinting at deeper meanings without getting preachy. Mark Bonnar turns in an astonishing, compelling performance. He plays a single character, a shabby heavy drinker, who relates all sides of the conversations, with frenetic energy.
The play is in one of the compact studios in the basement, which is a bit like a pub theatre in that you're only a few feet from the performer, on the same level: makes it an intense experience, might not work at all on a proscenium stage. The set is simple, a box with rivets to hint at a cargo hold, with a curtain of chains that sway when the "ship" is rolling, but the sound and lighting are expertly handled for dramatic effect.
What I'm Watching
Saw the Laurence Olivier Hamlet on DVD. Liked it a lot. Though it seemed a bit dated in places, especially Jean Simmons' melodramatic Ophelia and the ponderous incidental music; the expressionistic set and great central performance carried it through.
Video. Ski-parasailing. PSA: Talking to your kids about Star Wars. Tape-measure snail robots. Dogs in booties. Shetland Pony Grand National. Every Arnie scream. Slo-mo pass through Bath Central station.
Politics. EDL are continuing their "flash mob" strategy in Portsmouth, Wolverhampton EDL/militant islamists reinforce each other. Racial sus laws, rape anonymity, Lisbon referendum plans dropped. US. "In elected politics the 'fiscally conservative social liberal' is as real as a unicorn."
Economics. US immigrants more likely to compete against offshore UK govt employs More agency staff after recruitment freeze. UK Ireland assistance: exports, bank bailout or blank cheque for private borrowers. Gays poorer than straights. Chinese slowdown will be OK.
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