Thursday, 13 April 2017

Flagged: a Spy in the Midst

basketball hoop stand used as flagpole for scouts groupno worries australian boat sunk funny failAt last, a day off. For somebody who is reputedly on holiday, I have been working suspiciously hard, not sure when that tax bill will arrive. So I took full advantage and woke up at 11, very slightly under the 12 hours' sleep barrier that I just can't overcome.
Little tasks keep being finished around me such as the mobile indoor flagpole for the Scouts, formerly known as a basketball hoop and stand for teenagers. Even on this stepladder I can't reach the top so waved a flag anyway.
In the afternoon he unfairly made me go to the park to unstiffen our legs and boy, was that painful with the hobbling and the staggering and no acting at all. We met some known faces and did chin-ups. Well, one of us did.
And later, just as Jof got back home to a long weekend off before her job interview for the position of Chief Operating Officer (East Coast Division), we pigged pizza and totally abandoned her to go to the theatre. For someone who may sometimes complain about how much time I spend there, going in on my day off may seem unusual. But I wanted to see the performance for myself, and particularly, to see Sydney. So we arrived nice and early and loitered with distinct intent because I'd scoped what I considered to be the best seats in the house and I was first up the stairs and bagged them.
groundlings theatre easter play badger mole rat
Now, being an insider, I knew that the stage extensions on either side were full of players waiting for their cues, including Sydney. First, rabbits and other underground creatures emerged stage left and we could see Sydney's flashlight under stage right and it began with a bang, a song and several major characters. It was incandescent! Ebullient! And more than Sooty's Magic Wonder Show, had humanoids galore, all of whom I knew. For some reason I concentrated on the mistakes made by my fellow Thespians and Bud concentrated on how newcomer Harry had a bigger part than me but we jigged along to the songs and I knew all the words and in the interval I bought ice cream.
At the beginning of the second half, several small actors sing 'Silent Night' to denote that it's Christmas time as Toad of Toad Hall languishes in Jail. I knew this so approached the group to say hello and Sydney was pleased to see me.
In the audience, loads of very little people sat transfixed by the ongoing spectacle and a bodacious spectacle it is, with laughs and running around and some inventive costume changes where shoes don't quite fit and it took the horse a long time to help Toad into his cross-dressing escape suit. Cyril Proudbottom the horse is one of the best characters and has a lot in common with Marvin the Paranoid Android with his world-weary attitude and series of menial jobs. Badger has 3 different accents, some running concurrently and the dancers may not add much to the plotline itself but boy, they're good.
groundlings theatre drama school production
All in all, a triumph of set construction, colourful costumery and able performances from people of all heights and ages, 10/10, would go again. Could benefit from a larger, drunker audience less concerned with their cellphones and more concerned with joining in with the fist-waving and the clapping and the woo-ooing, like the little 4 year-old ginger kid at the front, who was the clear winner in my opinion with the running on stage and dancing strangely at half-time, even though I told him to get off. You could be part of that drunken audience. Buy tickets now. It's totally worth it.

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