I was supposed to update this weekend and then somehow that never happened. What the hell?
Friday night I saw Nicholas Farrell and Anna Chancellor at the Harold Pinter Theatre. (Formerly the Comedy Theatre.) They were performing in a double bill that transferred from the Chichester Festival which is apparently the place to go for upcoming theatre; a lot of stuff transferred in the past year. Anyway, the plays were South Downs by David Hare and The Browning Version by Terrence Rattigan. Apparently the Rattigan is normally paired together with another play that no-one likes, so Hare was asked to script an accompaniment. South Downs is a funny piece about a school boy who doesn't fit in with his peers because of his social class, his sharp intellect, and complete lack of charm. In the space of an hour Hare covers social and religious discourse with a very light touch, though ultimately it feels like a commissioned piece. By which I mean: it doesn't really close up properly. Wonderfully staged, though, and Anna Chancellor was incredibly charming as the actress mother of the school boy's acquaintance. Pretty certain I heard Stella Gonet in the voiceover.
The Rattigan was crushing; an absolute blow to the gut. Set on a school master's final day it follows him as he uncovers his wife's infidelity, is denied a pension by the school board, and has to come to terms with the knowledge that for all his ardour for teaching, he is not well-liked and probably will not be missed. Nicholas Farrell was phenomenal. Rattigan is bald-faced with his characters; he doesn't let them delude themselves. The play was almost violence in its matter-of-fact tone. I really enjoyed myself.
Work has slowed down considerably because most of what I've built is sitting with someone else to be signed off. As a result I've been suck writing ops instructions (deathly) and building graphics for Adult Learning tests. Oh god. Stab me; we can confirm I haven't died yet and then put me out of my misery.
I don't have a lot to say on fandom. Enjoyed the heck out of the Scott and Bailey finale, and got knocked out by the Glee performance of F+tM's Shake It Out. Finding myself fairly invested in Game of Thrones; this series is a vast improvement on the last. I loved, loved, loved this week's Mad Men, especially Peggy and Joan's office smoke break and everything that is Sally Draper.
I am really enjoying Bron/Broen (The Bridge) which is both intriguing and entertaining. Kim Bodnia's belly laugh cracks me up. The majority Swedish was throwing me at first - especially because the show descends into Danish now and then - but I'm getting better with the switch up. It's neatly put together and doesn't take itself too seriously as of yet. Good stuff.
I finished Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot on Monday. Hmm. I can't say that I actively enjoyed it, or that I think it ties up well (it really doesn't) but I found it compelling enough that I couldn't put it down. I didn't like the characters at all, but I enjoyed Eugenides' mad romp through critical and religious theory, and he still has a talent for pulling together real people. It doesn't have the heart of Middlesex or that keening wistfulness of The Virgin Suicides. It's a book about graduates and I think, in some way, it's a book for graduates. It's too close for an undergrad, and too far for anyone else. So. There's that.
And now I'm reading the sequel to The Hunger Games which I'm enjoying much more than the first book. I think this is because the outcome feels less certain. Or rather, the route to the outcome seems less obvious this time. I mean, there's a third book and it's YA lit so I doubt we're going to have a Psycho on our hands, but I'm still wondering, shit, what next? Also: I want to know this Johanna Mason character that tumblr keeps sticking Ruth Negga's face on. Yeah.
Ugh, flaked today. Trying not to dwell.