The King of Infinite Space

Hamlet
Nicki Greenberg
Allen & Unwin
2010

Hamlet+coverOne of the fastest selling seasons of Hamlet in Britain came to a close only a few hours ago. The National Theatre’s record breaking performances at the Barbican were helped along by the pulling power of Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch playing the eponymous role.

And while some poor sad bitter critics may have been lamenting that the audiences were not true theatre goers but merely (merely?) blindly screeching fangirls (and boys), the truth is, even if it was via the attraction of a major star, it brought an entirely fresh new audience to the experience of live theatre and perhaps has inspired them to see more. A win for theatre I would say, and every subsequent play one of those first timers sees from here on in is a fine—if invisible—middle finger to those critics who have nothing better to do than to harp and moan over the “death of theatre”. Continue reading

Dreams

imaginarium

IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS 

Dir. Terry Gilliam. Prod. William Vince. Perf. Charles McKeown, Christopher Plummer, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Verne Troyer, Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, and Tom Waits. E1 Entertainment, 2009. Film.

Watching the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus feels like hearing somebody recount their dream. Both bore you for the same reason: because anything can happen at any moment, there exists no suspense. We feel no anxiety when thugs chase the hero, since at any moment the sky may spit asunder and disgorge platoons of patchwork pharaohs or motorcycle-riding crayfish to rescue him. The ground beneath the pursuers’ feet may turn to treacle. The wind may blow in an opaline mist of bumblebees in frockcoats that halts everybody in their tracks. Even as they herd him to the edge of a precipice, we know that a flying teacup may appear to whisk him out of their reach. Continue reading

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