I'm meeting Cheryl and Anne for a spot of lunch whilst we wait for Solenne to arrive from France. I am full of cold and can hardly speak (hooray everyone says) so I have a medicinal Processco with my lunch! After a catch up, we all head towards Hampstead and get ready for another night at the theatre.
All Good Evenings Must Start With Prosecco!
The evening started as all good evenings do with a bottle of Prosecco. This time I have a really good seat, three rows from the stage and a perfect view of Tom. The play has changed slightly. It is more polished, not too polished, but the conversations between the characters flow better and are therefore more believable than they were at the earlier showings. I know some people have complained about the profanities, but think about it, this generation does swear. There is a generation that gets both excited and so emotionally involved with a topic that they can't articulate their feelings. They can't think of the right words to use, and therefore they use swear words to convey their emotions. Now I'm not condoning this, but like it or not, that is an element of society which exists, and therefore it is refreshing to see this on stage. It is an honest reflection of a part of society that I don't know very well, but watching the play, you can't help but get into the characters. Like them or loath them, agree with them or not, they are very personable, they are very honest, and they convey parts of us that we might not want to admit to.
There are vast amounts of Greg that relate to me, and it is terrifying seeing parts of yourself pulled apart on stage. I don't like to upset people, I try to keep everyone happy...more often that not it is has backfired. These days I do try to be more honest, even if people don't like to hear the truth, the result more often than not still backfires! I have no idea what career I want to pursue. I never have. I fell into a job I began to hate, and to be honest I'd still be there now if I hadn't been made redundant. So what am I doing about it? Well not living in the real world for sure. I'm sticking my head in a book and living through various fantasies, surfacing to complete drawings people have commissioned, and then heading back behind a PC to blog about the books I've read...hmm any of that sounding familiar?! Unlike Greg though I could not become an English teacher. When I was at school I was steered towards the art/English/textiles teacher thing...I know if I followed that career advice I would be arrested for thumping insolent children, it is not a career I would ever be cut out for, so in someways Greg is a far better person than me, at least he has a view to what he wants and is striving to achieve it.
So is it just a play where people shout a lot?
Steph and Carly are not just two screaming banshees, although first impressions could be that all they do is moan and shout. Carly is rather complex. She is already a single mother, so for her to get pregnant so soon after getting together with Greg is questionable, especially as she seems so quick to say that if Greg walks out she'll just get an abortion. I don't find this believable, it is a part of the play that grates with me, it just seems a quick easy plot line to tie ends up, rather than an integral part of the story. I find this interesting. When Greg first hears the news he is shocked and obviously not overjoyed, although he tries to make out that this it is good news to him! However, he appears to want the child as the play progresses, saying he will help to look after it even if him and Carly split, but then he doesn't seem overly distraught when he hears the news that the child is not a problem anymore...in other worlds, Carly has had an abortion. His feelings don't seem to be a part of the play, and the more I think about this, the more disgruntled I get about this part of the play, it just doesn't sit right with me.
Steph is a tormented soul. She knows her life is a mess, but she doesn't know what to do about it, so she screams and shouts and vents her anger at her inability to come to any decisions. She hopes other people can sort her life out for her...and ultimately it is dependable Greg who offers her a lifeline to happiness. But would it be if she took it? Or would it just be another disaster if she took up his offer to follow him, because Greg knows how to inadvertently say the wrong thing, and her volatile temper would blow things again with the relationship.
All in all, I really love this play, it has so many layers to think about, and I've been very disappointed reading the press reviews. I don't think the theatre critics have really thought about the deeper issues hidden within the depths of the play. I think they have just taken a quick overview that this is a play where four people shout at each other and there is lots of bad language, either that or they've been viewing a different play to me. I feel sorry for those who have read the reviews and shied away from the play...they have really missed a trick.
Will he/Won't he??
Following the play we grabbed another bottle of Prosecco, headed towards an empty table and started chatting. Some actor chappie headed our way and pulled up a chair and sat opposite me. "Hi Tom, you want a drink?" He didn't want a drink, but he did oblige us by sitting and chatting for half an hour or so! It's amazing how chatting aimlessly with someone that you really admire can completely make your night. I know I'll be buzzing off the memories of that night for ages. What did we talk about? Well this and that! Nothing overly serious, nothing secretive, but just general chit chat, a laugh and a joke. It was so relaxed and seemed so normal, you really had to pinch yourself that you were sitting chatting with a person that a few minutes earlier you had been watching on stage; someone you watch on TV, someone you have watched in awe for years because they have created such memorable characters for your entertainment, and he's just sitting there...next to you...chatting! (And in THAT waistcoat...it's very nice in real life!)
Well after getting thrown out of the theatre because they were so desperate to close, we made our way back to our hotel and ordered takeaway pizza, as you do! Then we stayed up in our dorm style hotel room chatting until 4am! 4am!!! The people downstairs were not happy with Cheryl, Anne and I. We thought there was a ghost next door knocking on the walls, nope, it was downstairs hammering on the ceiling for us to shut up as we recounted everything Tom had said when we were sat around the table! Even worse, we were all up again at 7am, excited that we would be going to see the play in the afternoon. I'm sure I've regressed back to my student days! Oh those poor people in the room below us!