Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Schnitzler’s La Ronde

The second of the aCT now! plays at Chatham’s Central Theatre meant I was out and about enjoying myself twice within the space of two weeks. Shocking isn’t it - and I’ve now been banned for twenty years, much like this play was - because it was too dirty for the sensibilities of the 1900’s. I’ve been banned because They didn’t like having to make their own pancakes. I mean, how tricky is it to shake the bottle and pour a bit into a frying pan?

It’s hard to believe that a play whose sexual encounters consisted of a series of ----------- in the written form could cause such consternation. Back then, the sex scenes on stage were represented by the lowering of the curtain and playing classical music - playing it in a rhythm evocative of sexual intercourse …I can’t believe I’m writing this. Oh, hang on - it’s art, so it’s ok … Back then though, the entire theatre company were arrested on obscenity charges! Seems rather quaint by today’s standards, doesn’t it!

I wasn’t really getting it at first (maybe I should rephrase that?) What I mean is, it struck me like a round robin tournament - five actors playing eleven characters - everyone has a play with everyone, if you get my drift and there was no journey towards a solution. Which, of course, is why it’s called ‘The Round Dance’!

There was a ‘Talkback’ with the cast of theatre company
Love&Madness at the end of the play, when they took us through the adaptation process and the whole getting-their-kit-off-in-every-scene made sense. Bringing the play back in these modern anything - goes time, director Neil Sheppeck had to find a way of presenting the sex scenes: Seduced by a tango lesson four years ago, he knew he’d struck gold when a friend suggested he listen to the Gotan Project. The problem was solved - no curtain required, the actors Tango! See, I thought I was going to a dance show; Strictly is ruined for me now.

I’m all for a bargain and The Cherry Orchard and Relatively Speaking (I’m going AWOL on 30th March for that) we covered in our scriptwriting course. Book three of the four aCT now! plays though and you get three for less than the price of two! So my third choice was La Ronde (featuring the Tango) or Oliver Twist (seen that, sung that, done the school play) which the company performed the night before. They rehearsed both plays at the same time, which made me think: What if a couple of the actors forgot where they were during Oliver? Could have added a whole new dimension to Sykes and Fagin’s relationship …

Question of the night to the actors, from TalkBack host, Nick Walker: How easy did you find slipping in and out of all the different characters? Only in Chatham …


foxy said...

I don't think I could watch a play like that - by the sounds of it I would have just spent the whole time thinking 'What?!?' :o)

Pretty much what I did with the film 'Closer' (if you haven't seen it don't bother it's rubbish) All the main characters just sort of randomly bump into each other and have sex then go off and bump into another of the main characters and have can see where I'm going. Didn't make an atom of sense to me and was, frankly, incredibly dull to watch!

I suddenly realised I'd told an untruth when I said I hadn't seen any plays to you. I did go and see 'An inspector calls' and Journey's end' when I was a teenager because we were studying them and by chance both came to the theatre in my nearby city. Journey's end wasn't bad, but I was a bit fidgety during 'An inspector calls'. Impatiently thinking will you please get on with it and work out they're all lying! Suppose I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn't already read the whole play :o)

Scatty said...

Sounds like Closer may have been based on La Ronde - at least there was dancing in this version! :)

How are you liking the playlist Foxy? Or not? I've some of the Buble to find yet! :)

foxy said...

I suspect I've been being a bit thick because tbh I didn't know it was there! :o/

Have had a listen now and am pleased to find the ever magnificent one hit wonder that is Rick Astley :o) A few more Buble tracks needed though to make me really happy lol :o)

Haven't heard some of your playlist before. Personally I always found the Muller tune annoying, but liking 'I'll always love you', 'Fallen', 'Love will bring us back together' and 'You know how to love me'. Particularly 'Fallen', one of the few tracks I have heard before, really good song that.

Can picture a romantic foxtrot with Matthew *sigh* to 'My baby just cares for me' ;o)

foxy said...

Pretty sure it's been used actually, though I can't for the life of me think who it was!?

Whoever it was it wouldn't have been as good as me and Matthew *sigh* I'm already wishing for september to hurry up and come ;o)

Scatty said...

Been used? Nooo - that was going to be mine! Anyway - am emailing you on facebook - Ian & Camilla are appearing locally!

foxy said...

I've booked 2 tickets, though I'm not sure at this moment if it'll be mum or a friend that comes with me. :o)

If you are able to get our 2 on your table that would be great! Let me know what's happening :o)

Just so you know, I'm not a great social dancer. I adore strictly and get a real thrill out of watching the pros....but my own skills on the dancefloor are nothing short of appalling and I am a little anxious when the opportunity for a bit of a boogie presents itself. Mum's the same actually (assuming it'll be her coming with me)

Have you been to this kind of event before? How much of the evening is social dancing? How many sweet martini's am I going to have to drink to get up my courage? ;o)

Jaye said...

I've emailed them to put you with us, will let you now when they confirm back. The only one I've been to was last year, the social dancing was about an hour at the end, so you shouldn't need too many martinis! I'm thinking of getting a cab, so best be warned - me and my friend don't get out much and we LOVE to boogie! They might want to have St.John Ambulance on standby - I shall be rehearsing all the moves the strictly warm up guy taught us ... :D

foxy said...

Oh no, I can just picture you and your friend mid flow with 'shopping at tesco...the sprinkler...digging a hole...' lol :o)

I do like to dance when I'm out with friends or at a wedding or whatever, it just takes me a while to shake off the self-conciousness to do it :o) I may eventually join you on the dancefloor and show off my impression of 'high shelf...low shelf' ;o)