Wednesday 2 February 2011

Captioned King Lear

This week shall be renamed Deafinitely Girly’s week of culture I think!

I’ve been very busy seeing and listening to things, and so far, it’s been great fun!

On Monday, I went to see captioned King Lear at Donmar Warehouse with Fab Friend. It was three hours of riveting but exhausting drama, headed up by the formidable yet incredibly endearing Derek Jacobi and included a cast of familiar faces who ceased to be familiar once they stepped into their Shakespearean roles.

Also in attendance was John Major, which added a slightly surreal element to the occasion, and it was noted that during the particularly gory eye-gouging scene, both he and Norma looked away – I know this because I too was looking away, which meant I was looking at them.

Honestly, never before have I cried at Shakespeare, not at Romeo and Juliet, not even when I saw my favourite Shakespeare actor, Kenneth Branagh go slightly mental as Richard III. However, when Jacobi as Lear stepped onto the stage in the final scene, broken at the death of his youngest daughter and the most lucid he’d been throughout his descent into madness, my heart actually broke. Reading the captions to his woe only accentuated the pain Lear was experiencing, and watching the tears fall freely from Jacobi’s face, made it all seem so real.

Embarrassingly, I let out an audible sob, and felt my own fat tears roll down my cheeks.

At the end, both Fab Friend and I admitted to feeling a little bit like we needed a nice cup of tea an a sit down… and just like that, Derek Jacobi was added to my fantasy dinner party list along with Tennessee Williams, Jeremy Clarkson, Jenny Colgan and Katie Fforde.

Then last night, I went to see Junip, a band headed up by Swedish guitar whizz José González. I love José, and this was my third time watching him perform, but first time with his band. He was supported by an emergency act, after the original one didn’t make it and this guy, whose name I have completely forgotten, looked a bit like Linus, sat towering over two of the smallest synthesizer/keyboards I have ever seen. His voice however was rather lovely, sliding about all over melody, with just a drum and two-handed accompaniment. At first SuperCathyFragileMystic and I were baffled by him, and when he murdered a Lenny Kravitz song, we were less than impressed. However his other stuff was lovely.

But this is not the end of my cultured week – in fact, I have two more excursions coming up that I am eagerly awaiting. And in the meantime, I’m just off to peruse Time Out London’s website to see what else I can pack into 2011!

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