Lest you think the Budman and Hachie Gal are "all work and no play" kind of people, we have taken in a number of shows in November and December that have had big names and been popular plays. Theater in London is as they say..."an embarrassment of riches".
In no order,
(1) Checkov's Ivanov with Kenneth Branaugh
Review: Stage acting does not get much better than Branaugh. Good ensemble cast including one of the actresses from Notting Hill. Great costumes and clever set. 3 out of 4 thumbs up.
(2) Joan Dideon's A Year of Magical Thinking with Vanessa Redgrave
Review: A one woman play that held us riveted in our seats. Two hours of theater that went by in a blink of an eye. She was FAB-U-LOUS! Read the book if you have not already done so. 5 out of 4 thumbs up.
(3) Calendar Girls
Review: Stage adaptation of the film by the same name. Cute, charming, and heartwarming...an added bonus was seeing the play with our Prague/Midlothian buddies, Larry and Jackie Koch. 3 1/2 out of 4 thumbs up.
(4) Socrates' Oedipus with Ralph Fiennes
Review: OK, you gotta be in the mood for a play that was written in 432 BC, that has the main character killing his father, marrying his mother, and who ultimately gouges his eyes out. Who can dismiss the Fiennes legend? Sadly, a little too heavy for the mood we were in but it was undeniably intense. Maybe a bit of over-acting????? High marks for the revolving set, and the wonderful Greek Chorus, although it seemed everyone held their coughing until the greek lamenting began and then let 'em rip. A generous 3 out of 4 thumbs up.
We are on theater sabbatical for the next 3 weeks, and then Twelfth Night with Derek Jacobi. Shakespeare...now, we're cooking with gas!