Saw Hay Fever by Noel Coward at the Noel Coward theatre. Twenties comedy about various visitors descending on a Bohemian household in the country. Very well-executed, with good performances all round, and some very funny moments. Good version, worth a look.
Went to the ballet for the first time, saw Onegin at the Coliseum. It's apparently a very modern-style production from a St Petersburg company the Eifman ballet, with Boris Eifman the choreographer. No en-pointe shoes (where they balance on their toes, always looks a bit freaky to me). Had recorded music, mostly from Tchaikovsky's opera, but also some Russian rock music.
Was an interesting experience. The dancers are impressively athletic, and also impressively ripped. Although I did a bit of research this time, I still didn't really manage to follow the plot: wasn't very clear on who was who. So, it was entertaining but slightly baffling to watch the dancers whirl around at random.
The crowd was much more dressed up than usual for London theatre, lots of suits and fancy dresses. Not sure if that's a ballet thing, or if it's because there were a lot of Russians there.
Overall, interesting to try, but I think I'd need a lot more practice to really understand what I'm supposed to be getting out of it.
Saw the Antic Disposition production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Middle Temple Hall. It's an interesting location since it's a wood-beamed Elizabethan hall, definitely adds to the atmosphere.
Good, solid production with an enthusiastic cast. The protracted death scene of Pyramus was hilarious, had everyone in stitches. Well worth a look.
What I'm Reading
Finished SF novel Banner of Souls by Liz Williams, set in the same haunt-tech future as Winterstrike, which I liked a lot. Atmospheric and with plenty of action, but it didn't really grab me this time round: characters and plot seemed a bit stock.
Saw Le Havre at the cinema. Gentle French comedy about an underemployed shoe-shiner who while his wife is in the hospital, encounters a teenage illegal immigrant and helps him out with the assistance of various quirky characters.
Found it a bit slow-moving and predictable, with the difficulties sorting themselves out a bit too easily. From the audience reaction, it might be funnier if you understand the French.
Saw Midnight in Paris on DVD. Good romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen about an American writer in contemporary Paris who finds himself time-travelling back to the Twenties. Worth a look.
Went to Tate Modern. The Alighiero Boetti exhibition was more conceptual than I usually like, but had some interesting stuff, like the world-map carpets.
The main draw is the Damien Hirst exhibition though. Finally got to walk through the divided cow, which is interesting as you can see all the anatomical structures. The preserved specimens are looking a bit the worse for wear though: the shark's now a bit too wrinkled to look dangerous and the cows and sheep are a bit pale and soggy.
His work definitely has an impact though. The decaying cows head surrounded by buzzing flies was unpleasant but strangely compelling. The butterfly pictures and spot paintings seem surprisingly charming, also liked the spinning drip-paintings.
Overall, the guy definitely has an eye for visually impressive effects, so you have to give him credit for it.
Note: the diamond-covered skull isn't part of the upstairs pay exhibition, you can see it for free if you queue in the turbine hall.
Went to the LHusi drinks, which were good. Be nice to find an alternative to the Anchor though, we ought to think of something.
Didn't go away for Easter, spent it in London with Girl B, but we managed to get out and do a few things, ate out a few times too.
Still no progress on the job hunt, had eight interviews at four companies but no offers.
Politics. Galloway election:
The fact that Respect won in every ward in the constituency, and won by a massive 10,000 majority, testifies that that disillusionment goes way beyond the Muslim community. In the predominately white, middle-class ward of Clayton approximately 900 votes were cast for Respect compared to 40 for Labour.Detailed post on the e-snooping bill.
Posted to the Stoic Forum on the Inner Acropolis.
Science. Bigender individuals perceive their gender differently at different times.
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