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The smell of greasepaint, the roar of the crowds..

Thursday, 22 July 2010

I love going to the theatre. I'm lucky enough to live in a city which has a strong performing tradition and lots of theatres, ranging from big to very small indeed. My particular favourite is the Unity - it's a lovely small scale venue that shows a cracking mixture of plays, dance and comedy. Pretty much anything they put on is worth seeing, even if it's a first time piece that no-one's ever heard of.

But I'm not averse to dashing around the country in order to catch a particular show. My friend Lee and I had a wonderful couple of days in London between Christmas and New Year and saw War Horse (utterly amazing) and The Misanthrope (not quite so good but still fun and who's going to pass up second row tickets to see Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis? Not me!). I'm currently keeping my eyes peeled to see when tickets for Michael Sheen as Hamlet go on sale. Did I mention I love Michael Sheen? Let's have a gratuitous photo of him.

And Damien Lewis too. J'adore the ginge.

Where was I? Oh yes, theatre. Summer tends to mean that there's less on at the theatres but instead the joyful prospect of outdoor theatre is here instead. Oh I love it so. There's no faffing about with complicated sets or hoards of actors, just a minimal cast and lots of props. Plus I take any excuse to whiz together a delicious picnic and indulge in a little glass of wine or two in the evenings.

I'm jammy enough to get free tickets to the shows that we put on at work so last week it was time for Alice Through The Looking Glass. Doesn't the Hall make a beautiful backdrop? Fab play, very hectic and very funny.

Tonight was the turn of The Tempest and I journeyed into deepest darkest Cheshire to watch it. I absolutely love the theatre company (Lord Chamberlain's Men) but was away in London when they were on at work, so was quite happy to pay to go and see them elsewhere. They perform Shakespeare in traditional style - all male cast, period costume and songs and dance. I can't say it made as much difference to tonight's play but I've seen a couple of their other performances and the comedies work on a whole other level when they're done this way.

I wish I'd taken more clothes with me - it was flipping freezing!

Have you seen anything good recently? I'm always on the hunt for new things to see so would love to hear your recommendations.

ps - I'll be faffing around with the layout and design over the weekend so things may look weird on here for a few days.


  1. Those boots are fab in the pic of you and I'm not suprised you were freezing, I'm starting to wonder whether someone made up that july is part of summer!

    I'm not much of a theatre goer, in fact I think I've seen 2 plays in my whole life, I like the idea but it's something I never get round to sadly. You've got such an interesting life hun :) xx

  2. looks like a fun event!

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  3. I haven't been to the thaetre for I don't know how long!!We used to take G's Mum at least once/year.O dear,getting a bit slack!

  4. That's amazing!!!! I would love to go to an outdoor theater like that.

    clothed much, a modest fashion blog

  5. Ooooh I never get the chance to see good theater these days!!! I'm so jealous. Great post!

  6. Oh I love the theatre and I never go enough (though the Aussie and I have tickets to go to the Globe in London soon - standing up! Well I can do it at football...) Outdoor performances are so beautiful, you've inspired me to try and get one in before the summer is out

  7. I haven't been to the theatre in a VERY long time. Again one of those things I wish I got round to do doing.
    The last show I went to see turned out to be not so good, so I guess it put me off a bit.

    The outdoor theatre looks wonderful; I can imagine the atmosphere being completely different.
    This cold weather is very disheartening lately, I agree x

  8. Ahhh, a good outdoor show. They're so much fun :). Summer Shakespeare <3

  9. I love the theatre be whether its professionals, drama schools or just local productions! The Alice event looks great! If you were cold I really feel for the guy behind you. Wicked was the last thing I saw and I would highly recommend it. I'm reading the books now and am tempted to go and see it again when I'm back down in August. x

  10. I love, love, love the theatre too, so this post was such a pleasure to read! If I could, I'd go to a show every evening. Sadly, shows are expensive :-(

  11. That does look like fun, Alex. I think the last thing I saw at the theatre was Daniel Day-Lewis at the National Theatre in 1989, scary!
    I'd climb over you to get to Damien Lewis, I've loved him since he was Sergeant Winters. Vix xxx

  12. lucky girl! i wish i had some great theatre around me!

  13. I love watching shows, although I haven't seen much theatre held outside here in New York.

  14. Alex -are you carbooting at the cricket club? I couldn't get back in touch after your blog message fri cos I was away and believe it or not internet is rubbish on my phone so couldn't get online. I won't take the boots in case not but we can meet up another time in exchange for a shiny pound coin. If you see me say hello :) and if you pick this up before you go email me and I'll get in on my phone, and if I haven't left I'll pop the boots in a bag x

  15. Oooh, I do like your new layout Alex! Very green and fresh.

    Outdoor theatre looks like so much fun... like a cultural festival, only much more civilised! I must see if there's anything on in Leeds. x


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