Saw 13 at the National Theatre. Long portentous play mixing up a lot of political and philosophical elements.
Features a kind of female David Cameron character as prime minister, a Christopher Hitchens pro-war anti-God character dying of lung cancer, an ambiguous messiah leading an anti-Iran-war campaign, and a host of minor characters. Pretty up to date with references to the London riots and protests against tuition fees.
The problems are that none of it really comes together, and the individual elements aren't really good enough to be interesting. The philosophy is a bit elementary. The politics is vague. The shared dream doesn't seem to lead anywhere.
Good points: an impressive rotating cube set.
Noticed that Shane Zaza played a very similar wacky-dim-nerd character to his Elvis in "Mongrel Island" at the Soho theatre. Hope he's not getting too typecast.
Overall, not brilliant, but reasonably watchable due to a hard-working cast and crew.
What I'm Reading
Lesbian Sex Secrets For Men: book of advice from lesbians to straight men.
Not much to say on this. Talks a lot about relationships and communication rather than physical stuff. A few bits are pretty dubious, like massaging away "toxins" and releasing energy.
Like most books on practical subjects, a lot of it is familiar, but the occasional suggestion that isn't can be pretty helpful.
Here's the latest weight graph. Proper weigh-ins confirm that unusually I didn't gain weight over Christmas, there's usually a January peak. I suspect I must have lost a couple of pounds in early December and regained them over Christmas. I was definitely eating a lot of calories, but avoided really massive constant snacking.
Graph here. (For some reason having trouble embedding the Flickr image.)
Though we will not know for sure for another couple of weeks (and not for certain for many years), current evidence suggests the economy grew by 0.9% in 2011.Politics. Liam Byrnes and scroungers.
Every month, the Treasury publishes a compilation of around 40 independent economic forecasts. In January last year none of these - not one - had a growth forecast as low as 0.9%. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) came closest, with 1.1%, and there were a few others starting with a “1” but the consensus was for 2% growth - twice what was achieved - and one optimistic group (Liverpool Macro Research) predicted more than 3%.
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