Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Or You Could Kiss Me...

Last night Stu and I went to see Or You Could Kiss Me, a new play by Neil Bartlett and Handspring Puppet Company, at the National Theatre.
From the people who bought us War Horse and using a bare stage, a handful of domestic props and the astonishing puppetry that is Handspring’s trademark, Or You Could Kiss Me was an intimate history of two very private lives, lived in extraordinary times. The story was one of a gay relationship told through puppetry and narration. The two near life-size wooden puppets were operated by seven black-suited figures, including Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones, the show's co-creators.
In the winter of 2036, in a shabby apartment in Port Elizabeth, two old men search for a way to say goodbye after a lifetime spent together. In the perfect summer of 1971, in a very different South Africa, their handsome younger selves search for the courage to fall in love. And poised halfway between these two stories – one imagined, one remembered – their real-life counterparts bear witness to both the beginning and the ending of an incredible journey.
I'd like to say it was a moving tale. But... to be frank it was boring. A real let-down. The only stand-out aspect was Adjoa Andoh who was excellent as the narrator. I guess it was nice to see gay life at all ages so expressively played out on a national stage but to be honest we were really disappointed.
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1 comment:

  1. We saw this a few weeks ago and like you, were disappointed and thought it was ponderous and boring. However we were there the night that there was a talk afterwards with Neil Bartlett and the two directors of Handspring, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones. The three of them spoke entertainingly about the genesis of the play, and what I hadn't realised was that the key storyline was autobiographical between Adrian and Basil, and some of what they were trying to explore was how their relationship would develop in the future. In particular, the meeting and the sports court incident were true in their lives. I was charmed by them and left thinking that there was the possibility of something so much more fulfilling, so much warmer, than what actually ended up on stage. A missed opportunity.


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