I read fom somewhere that two years ago, when the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse was opened, Eileen Atkins in character as Ellen Terry spoke the first words of Shakespeare on its stage. She did another run of this play, written by herself and based on the Shakespeare lectures Terry started giving after her acting career has faded, earlier this winter, and I was gifted a ticket by a friend (more of that below). It was an inspirational evening – and if you have read my other blog, you’ll know that inspirational falls in the category of words I hate – most of all because it made think about all the great reviews I have never written, of things I have seen. Although I say it myself, the world has indeed lost a great opera critic in me.
With one thing leading to another, I came to think about this blog. Few years ago I fell in love with Shakespeare, and the idea was to chart my journey as I catch up on the plays. Not long after, I saw a number of plays – Death of a Salesman and Taken at Midnight forever being the highlights – and realised what I had missed by not paying attention. Theatre has been always a bit of a closed book for me; I went a lot as a kid, but it never gripped me. Leaving the RSC, I was suddenly full of elated excitement. So many possibilites, so many opportunities to see great things – and great actors I have always loved on TV or on film, and always thought of as being somehow almost fictional…
…yet who are real, and even go to the theatre like the rest of us. I’ll forever own a debt of gratitude to my Swedish friend Tove; she was the one who gave me her ticket to see Eileen Atkins, and – unexpectedly – Penelope Wilton. Wilton of course is her favourite actress, so she was devastated to hear that she had missed the chance to breath the same air; to make up to her, I approached Wilton for a cheeky snap. She was very gracious, I’m pleased to tell you.
So, from here on, I’ll post reviews of all kinds of cultural experiences, as well as catch up with my Shakespeare project – and with my Dorothy L. Sayers project, more of which later. My other blog has been rather heavy on photography, and will continue as my visual journal; this one will hopefully push me into writing more, to think about literature more, and to express my opinions more.
Read my post about Penelope Wilton’s Olivier award winning turn in Taken at Midnight here.