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Sunday 31 October 2010

Metropolis (Director: Fritz Lang) 1927 Original Music by Gottfried Huppertz performed live by the LCO - recommended

Take a pinch Frankenstein, a cupful of Jules Verne, a spoonful of the Hunchback of Notre Dame don't forget the new testament and the story of the Tower of Babel. Put all this into a stunning Art Deco Setting; act with pathos and direct with style. Add a dramatic score performed live by an enthusiastic orchestra.The result is an enjoyable evening at the Roundhouse for the true film buff.

The Country by Martin Crimp Arcola Theatre - Highly Recommended

It is evening. A middle class couple a
re talking, while the children are sleeping upstairs. The dialogue is trivial in content, tense in tone. Soon they'll be having what the husband calls a "domestic" (Oxford English Dictionary: <British informal> a violent quarrel between family members, especially husband and wife). The presence of another person will throw oil on the fire.

Martin Crimp has written a tense absorbing thriller. The rhythm of the dialogue, excellent acting (and strong direction make this a great evening at the theatre. 

The Arcola has a young and enthusiastic audience, whose emotional absorption in the play in taking sides in the argument between the protagonists. Being part of such an audience only adds to the thrill and enjoyment.

Broken Glass by Arthur Miller at the Tricycle highly recommended

Arthur Miller's 1994 play Broken Glass can be seen as the set-in-the-1930ies American drama prequel to the 2010 Booker Prize Winner The Finkler Question (by Howard Jacobson). 

Philip Gellman the only Jew in the Mortgage Department of a WASP savings and loan company is proud of his son who is training to be the only Jewish officer trained at the Elite West Point Military Academy. He's less comfortable with being Jewish, secular and of modest Eastern European origins. It is 1938 and the news about how Jews are being treated in Germany is affecting Jews in New York. Above all Philip's wife (from a more privileged Jewish background than her husband), which brings them and the difficulties of their sex life in near contact with their well adapted secular Jewish German-trained, horseback riding family doctor with an impressive command of down-to-earth, descriptive Yiddish phrases. 

A serious drama on the meanings of Jewish identity takes its course, but Arthur Miller knows how to bring wit and humour into the dialogue and the psychological drama of the story line. The production (director Iqbal Khan) and the cast ( Emily Bruni, Lucy Cohu, Nigel Lindsay, Madeleine Potter, Brian Protheroe) led by Antony Sher make for a gripping dramatic evening, not devoid of laughter. Highly recommended.

Arhur Miller (1915-2005)