Pithy capsule reviewlets #2.

Nov 08, 2005: The Burial At Thebes (Sophocles’ Antigone translated by Seamus Heaney), Nottingham Playhouse.

Classical Greek drama in contemporary relevance Shockah! Heaney’s unstuffy new translation strikes all the right notes, and the deceptively simple staging looks great when viewed from the Circle. A tightly staged production, with almost every movement choreographed with precision; even the folds on each actor’s robes somehow complement each other. It’s only short – not much more than an hour and a quarter, no interval – but this serves to heighten the sense of concentration, from players and audience alike. Proper drama, proper acting, proper art. For once. Highly recommended, particularly if (like me) you’ve not been to the Playhouse in a while and need your confidence restoring.

Nov 06, 2005: Steak & Chips, The Cottage.

In which, under K’s expert tutelage, Mike actually cooks a proper meal for once in his life Shockah! One of the undoubted highlights of the critically acclaimed Doing At Least One Thing Each Week Which Breaks Through Mike’s Comfort Zone season, the results were little short of spectacular: succulent steak (medium rare), crisp chips (washed, drained, dried, deep fried once, drained, deep fried twice), with peas and baked tomatoes forming a simple yet effective accompaniment. Can’t cook? WILL cook! (Repeated this Sunday, 19:00.)

Nov 05, 2005: Someone You May Have Heard Of’s Bonfire Party, three or four villages away, Derbyshire.

Last year, the assembled mix of political/media types (there were a lot of fearfully earnest, distressingly handsome young men in black sweaters and tight jeans, up from London for the weekend) and stout-hearted county folk (flat caps, rosy cheeks, sensible outdoor clothing in clashing colours) burnt an effigy of Robert Kilroy-Silk; this year, inevitably, it was the turn of George Galloway. Who, it has to be said, went down fighting. As the winds gathered force around him, so the great man’s flames (burning with a violent orange to match his permatanned skin) veered ever more dangerously sideways and up-field, towards the merrily jeering throng. A few minutes later, the transubstantiation from bonfire to flame-thrower now complete, the effigy was spitting hot fireballs above the heads of the rapidly retreating guests, and sending showers of sparks flying all over them, as they cowered in a huddle near the top fence. Standing safely below and behind, K and I could almost hear his self-righteous roar above the crackling timbers. “Yer lily-livered lickspittle popinjays, I’ll take the lot of yer down with me!”

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