Thursday, August 27, 2009

Clippy's log - page 29

19/8 7pm. It's time to go to the show already! How time flies when one is thoroughly enjoying oneself. We have tickets but Charlotte doesn't, so Elise joins her in the Paxton. They've managed to get a live video feed in there, which allows people who otherwise would have missed out (due to the show being completely sold out) to at least see something of the show.

7:30pm. That Yeomen overture, so familiar to us from a few months back. Several Savoynetters are in the show, and Ian Henderson is directing. It's a lot more traditional than ours - until the end, where Jack Point is stabbed by a hired assassin instead of keeling over of a cardiac affection. Someone (Elsie?) turns around and screams just as the curtain falls, making it seem like Phantom of the Opera instead of G&S. Interesting idea, didn't really work. Unfortunately Phoebe was fairly unremarkable - no ecstatic rapture beloved boy stuff for either the real Leonard or the substitute one.

10pm. Same as last night. This is too easy.

10:30pm. Elise and Charlotte join us and again there's the ratio of positive comments to negative. The usual community singing (cut short because Yeomen is not all that well known and quite complex) and then the usual cabaret.

11:30pm. Time to bail. The girls are both leaving tomorrow and need to pack. They give us all the leftover food and we settle down to finish the conversation. It eventually turns to gorillas and chimpanzees (don't ask how), which Elise knows plenty about because she works with them.

2am. Time to go. Hugs all round, see you when Mark Ward decides to pay me what I'm worth... Meanwhile, Savoynet and Facebook.

2:15am. Home. Heave several sighs. It feels like the Festival is just about over already...

20/8 10:30am. Midga wakes up and it's raining. Nothing particular to do today so he goes back to sleep.

11am. Traal is idle so Midga grabs him for some blogging. Then Stephen jumps onto Google Chat. Midga has a bright idea - maybe he (after his various electronic experiments with speakers etc) can set up a voice call with more success than Gabrielle did. A few minutes later David comes to help.

11:35am. Woohoo, success! We have a headset microphone (which everyone can talk into if they try) and big speakers at that end, and a laptop mike and speakers here. Rosuav, wake up!

11:50am. It's people's bed times over there (Thea was brought back from having already been put to bed) so we ring off. The boys fill their time reading web news articles, programming, eating chocolate and watching cartoons, to try to fool themselves it's an evening at home. It's still too wet to go out anywhere - hey isn't it nice that it wasn't like this yesterday for our picnic lunch?

3:30pm. Rosuav wakes up for the nth time today and decides to cook some lunch. Apparently he's now quite well known at the butcher - when he last went in for a consignment of snags he was asked "Do you live on anything else?" A piglet is a piglet is a piglet!

6:30pm. Time to get going. Irish Gondoliers tonight, who knows, they might have brought their violin player!

7:20pm. We're in the Paxton, watching the video feed for £5, as the opera house is sold out. Like most live video feeds based on 80s technology it has moving bars across the screen and an imperfect representation of colour. But it's better than missing out on the show. By next year there'll be a much better connection, live over the internet - so we'll be able to see the shows from home (if we can afford the bandwidth).

7:30pm. The opening is eye popping - so much chorus movement, and so precise! Even the men are pretty well in time. As the show progresses the novelty starts to fade, and we realise that choreography isn't the same as acting. The chorus don't seem to have an opinion about the plot, only about their next moves. And again the lighting is a bit disappointing - there's a lower level for the finale, but no big build for "Then away we go to a balmy isle".

9pm. Act 2 opens with the two kings in costumes much like the Canadian production done by Australian Opera. Lots of the staging is similarly inspired by that version, including the ending of the cachuca. We figure if they were going to imitate, there are better ones around. What really kills the show though is the entrance of Inez - not only did they copy AO's ridiculous torture-chamber-in-a-throne-room setup, but Inez was a man and didn't do a very good impression of a woman either. Sorry Irish, we love your violinist but this is one we won't be getting the DVD of.

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