There have been a couple of trips to the theatre in March. The Royal Exchange are currently doing Frankenstein so we nipped along to see that. I've read it a couple of times and the play followed the novel closely, which was great, and which provided a much better understanding of what Mary Shelley had originally written about for those who had only films of the story to go on. Despite an issue I had with the casting of Victor (I couldn't hear him for some of the time) it was nicely staged.
I’ve also been back to my old haunt The Lowry a couple times this month. Once was because I was working on an event held there, the Manchester Theatre Awards, and once to see Ballet British Columbia. Much like my time there as Digital Marketing Manager, it was a combination of work and fun.
I try never to do this but at the awards I met Janet Suzman and told her how much I wanted her to win for her extraordinary performance in and as ROSE which was at HOME last year. She was charming and gracious and, as it happens, she did win. Well deserved - such a moving play and a heart-breaking piece of acting. And whilst the performers in the three pieces performed by Ballet British Columbia were astonishing, the dance as a whole left me unmoved. I’m in a minority there - it’s had plenty of 5 star reviews.
It’s funny walking into a place as a customer that you once invested so much time, energy and passion into. There are some familiar faces still there and it’s always lovely to get a warm welcome from them. Even so it does feel like I was never really there.
This week I saw You Were Never Really Here and it is one of the best films I’ve seen for a long time. Lynne Ramsay is hardly prolific but when she does get behind the camera it’s always an interesting experience. I wasn’t fond of her last film, We Need To Talk About Kevin, it just didn’t work for me, but this one grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. It had the grip of a vice and hurtled along like a train that couldn’t stop.
Which leads me to the latest incarnation of Agatha Christie on screen, Murder On The Orient Express, the blu-ray of which I was sent to review this week for Starburst magazine. I was dreading it but I’m happy to say that it was nowhere near as bad as most of the reviews made it out to be. Not great by any means but some nice performances and sumptuous to look at.
But last night we watched Babette’s Feast, one of our favourite films. If you want sumptuous, look no further. We watched it with friends who had never seen it and because its star, Stéphane Audran, died this week. We’d bought some very good French wine to have with the film and to toast this great actress. We all cried.