Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Dance: Michael Clarke Company

Tonight, I was with the London European Club (first time in ages!) - we were off to the Barbican for a dance production by the Michael Clark Company.

Left in good time to take the bus - I had a choice of three, from different stops - picked the one with the shortest projected journey time, although they were all much the same. Then an easy stroll - although Google Maps got seriously confused about where I was, as I was passing the Museum of London. After a minute, I was less confused - and was soon walking down familiar streets, and into the Barbican. Downstairs to collect my ticket, back up to ground level, where the organiser had said she'd be.

Having got a drink and some peanuts, I located the final free chair in the very busy bar - behind the piano, at the back. Turned out most of the people were there to listen to a talk by the astronaut, Tim Peake.. funny that, I'm doing his VR Experience in January, at the Science Museum! Seems he's written a book. I was suddenly worried, as I opened the container of peanuts, that they mightn't be salted.. huh, I needn't have worried, they were very much on the excessive side of salty.

Ages until the organiser found me - I had to leave messages about where I was, and turn off the phone, the battery was so low! She'd been delayed anyway - I was far and away the first to arrive. A third finally joined us, in our cosy corner - the fourth and final person never did show. But we three had a convivial chat, before it was time to go in.

They were in the stalls - I'd gone for a cheap seat (obviously), upstairs, but this was the show that had a single seat that kind of pokes out of its level, the only seat at the end of a promontory! So I clambered down the steps all the way to it. I must say, I like that seat (AA11 in the upper circle).. very snug, plenty of room to leave your stuff, and although the legroom isn't terrific if you're pointed forward, there's plenty of space to sit sideways. The view is also perfectly decent, quite close to the stage, with just a safety rail in your view. I did miss the action left of stage, mind. And it mightn't be the best place if you suffer from vertigo!

Could see my companions below - the organiser even gave me a wave! And so to the show. Three parts, two before the interval - the first, we agreed afterwards, was quite robotic, with aggressive music to match, and we weren't sure we liked it.. although I did find it interesting, and, as I pointed out to them, I didn't walk out, like the last time I saw contemporary dance! The second, in which they danced to music by Patti Smith, wearing outfits with flared trousers, we found more accessible!

At the interval, it was rather disconcerting trying to get out, as my way seemed to be blocked by seats! Turned out that the wall panels turned into doors (what a weird building). In the foyer, long queues waited - that talk now being over - for the astronaut to sign his book.. it took me an age to make my way through to the others, back where we'd met.. in the meantime, got a message, would you believe, from the aforementioned crazy lady whom I've blocked on Meetup. She found a way to get in touch, and is trying to continue the argument. No wonder I was a bit distracted at the interval! I've since reported her for harrassment.

The third and final piece was an homage to David Bowie - set to his music, and kind of reminiscent of his imagery. Quite short, we felt, given that we'd just had an interval: but never mind, it was all quite interesting, and passionately performed. In skintight costumes, which for the Patti Smith section, sported flares. Runs till the 28th. And afterwards, meeting again behind the piano, we had a most entertaining chat. Nice to see some friendly faces!

Tomorrow, Walking Victorian London is doing a walk called Alexander Pope's The Dunciad.

On Thursday, Up in the Cheap Seats is off to Albion, at the Almeida. Then I'm back to Ireland for the weekend again - hopefully, by that stage they'll have cleared the roads following Storm Ophelia. And Storm Brian.

On Monday, I finally get to see Apologia, at Trafalgar Studios - London Dramatic Arts was going to this a while ago, but it was far too expensive on that occasion. Well, that's what you get for having Stockard Channing and Laura Carmichael in it! Amazon Tickets again.

And finally, I'm hoping for a nicely scary Hallowe'en.. when I heard that they were doing the first-ever stage production of The Exorcist - and what's more, it's on in the Phoenix Theatre, right behind the office.. well, that was fate, wasn't it?! I jumped to get a ticket for that, as soon as they went on sale - after all, Hallowe'en has to be its most popular night! Jenny Seagrove plays the mother of the demonically possessed teen..

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