Friday, October 26, 2007


NYC Whistle Stop

I saw The Wooster Group’s Hamlet in New York City on Wednesday. My intention had been to post a review here, but I believe myself to be an unreliable witness. Shambling into The Public Theatre at 1am GMT and out again at 4am GMT events between are clouded in a jetlagged delirium. The show’s technical accomplishment was staggering, live action fully synched up with a film of a live stage performance given by Richard Burton’s from way back, complex and apparently flawless.

In the first half I reflected that where as Brace Up! felt like an extraordinarily lucid version of The Three Sisters, by taking the Burton staging as its primary text, this version of Hamlet, like its processed video backdrop, was picking up the noise and static of another lost generation.

Then, after the interval, with the audience significantly thinned out, somehow the show’s logic became manifest and the blizzard of video interference merged with mine and Hamlet’s delirium and I left thinking the whole thing was a triumph.

On reflection I know I’ll never know.

This theatre trip was a happy bye-product of being on site visit for an ‘up coming’ presentation of Of All The People In All The World in NYC. We can’t pre-empt an announcement about this presentation by our excellent hosts, but following my visit everyone can rest assured the venue is looking fantastic and the team there seem impressively business-like so it should be a good one.

Adding a degree of surreality to an already strange trip was a brief meeting with Neil (Lord) Kinnock. Now Chair of The British Council he was guest of honour at a Lunch thrown by the Welsh Development Agency at the swanky Metropolitan Club. Unfortunately a tight schedule meant I only had time to shake a few hands, smile at a few people and gulp Butternut Squash soup before traveling downtown to a production meeting.

Downtown from The Metropolitan Club doesn’t narrow it down much but it’s a small clue exclusive to Stan Blog readers familiar with The Big Apple (does anyone call it that any more?).

James 26.10.7

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