Saturday, 25 October 2014

Climbing the mountain


It took me enough hours to download and install Apple's new Yosemite operating system to my MacBook so I knew what I was in for when I volunteered today to take Ae's MacBook home to update hers.

Ae's prepaid internet connection simply doesn't have enough capacity for the required amount of download to be handled speedily and I knew that Ae would panic at the apparent lack of progress if left to monitor the download herself.

As it turned out I was 4/5 of the way through the download to her MacBook when my internet connection dropped out and when I got it going again the download restarted from the beginning. Four hours after I started and with much relief the download and installation finally were accomplished.

Children of the Sun

Sydney Theatre Company

Andrew Upton has adapted Maxim Gorky's play 'Children of the Sun'.

Nineteenth century Russia and we find a number of middle class characters are distracted by their relationships; mostly unsatisfactory and unsatisfied relationships. Meanwhile their servants are engrossed in their own mysterious relationships.

Having not seen a version of the original play I am not sure how close this adaption is to Gorky's vision and watching it I felt afterwards that I just didn't 'get it'. Was this play an allegory about impending revolution? Or a mild clash of class structures? Or a depiction of social manners? Maybe all of these things?

I came away from the play somewhat baffled.
★★1/2

Friday, 24 October 2014

Before I Go To Sleep


A woman (Nicole Kidman) awakes each morning not knowing who she is, where she is, or who this man besides her in bed is. That man (Colin Firth) patiently tells her each morning that she is his wife and that she suffers amnesia following an accident. After the man goes to work, leaving the woman at home alone, a Doctor telephones each morning to speak to the woman, to tell her who she is and to seek answers as to how she got to be in this condition.

I suppose this is a potentially interesting plot but its silliness - for one thing how is it that these events occur every day without fail and in the same sequence each day - had me distracted for most of the running time of 'Before I Go To Sleep'.

The eventual 'reveals' made little sense to me.
★★

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Spring has sprung


Departing the Opera House last Saturday after attending the matinee of 'The King and I' and the bar and cafes along the concourse were crowded in the late afternoon early spring sunshine.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The King and I

(Opera Australia and John Frost)

Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical 'The King and I' is this year's money spinning musical to complete the 2014 Opera Australia Sydney season.

This production of the experience of Anna Leonowens who travels to the court of the King of Siam to teach dozens of Royal children has been around since the late 1990s and is deceptively simple in its staging but still visually stunning.

It is difficult to imagine any stage production matching the superb film version of 1956 in which Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr made the two main characters absolutely their own but to my surprise Lisa McCune especially and Teddy Tahu Rhodes come mighty close in their performances.

I don't know why this production presents Sir Edward Ramsay as a bit of a buffoon which makes one wonder why Anna would have tolerated him as an early beau but his is an incidental character with only the one appearance and so this is a minor quibble.

Just about as good as it gets for classic Broadway musicals.
★★★★1/2

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A holiday from the holiday



In retrospect it wasn't smart planning.

Five weeks of overseas travelling. Seven flights spanning the globe. Many changes of time zones. Hours and hours of walking each day.

What should have followed all that was a short period of rest and recovery.

Instead, what have I done in the two weeks since returning from overseas? Six days of volunteer work, attended five theatre performances, saw four films, played three sessions of bridge, had the car serviced, a podiatrist appointment, a doctor's appointment, a blood test, one funeral, attended one football grand final, participated in one Consumer Advisory Group meeting and wasted two hours speaking to a call centre in India.

I need a holiday from my holiday.