08 March 2008

Is this the way to Amaretto?

I saw this sign in Southwark this evening, and haven't been able to stop grinning at it since. Alas, it seems to be one of a kind. In an ideal world -- or an ideal Southwark, at any rate -- there'd be a whole serious of similarly stuffy signs, straight out of an Ealing comedy. 'Commit No Nuisance'. 'Do Behave Now'. 'Well, Really.' 'Oh, Put That Down'. 'Now Look Here'. And so on.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Last you heard I was in Fulham, and indeed I was happily encamped there till late this morning, wondering why on earth my hair had metamorphosed from Han Solo to Farrah Fawcett. It may need cutting.

Taking my leave of my industrious hostess I strode out into the grey and damp of London just after eleven today; I was due to meet Technically and the Fairy Blogmother by Knightsbridge tube station, and was rather winging it in terms of how much time I'd need for the trip. I wasn't too worried, though, as I was walking more through desire than need; were time's winged chariot to hurry too near I was more than happy to grab a bus.

My curious London knack for punctuality when dependent solely on my feet paid off again, and I wound up skulking under an awning waiting for the others to arrive, dug into Conrad's masterpiece of spy fiction while wondering why the fur protesters next to me were complaining. If Harrod's were indeed engaged in illegal trade, as the protesters' banners claimed, then why didn't they just report them to the police?

The girls joined me soon enough, and we set off to meet up with the Cheesemonger before going for a stroll along the South Bank, browsing in the somewhat overpriced book market. Eventually we ambled towards Southwark, there to increase our numbers, to quaff an ale or two, and have some dinner, before setting out for the main business of the evening.

The centrepiece of this trip was always going to be tonight's performance of Involution, running in Southwark's Pacific Playhouse for the past fortnight, and which I first heard good things of back in September, wandering through Whitehall with the Blogmother, saying that she thought it was Ms Welch's best work so far.

I'm inclined to agree; while I've enjoyed her earlier plays, all of which I've found hilarious, this was a lot meatier. It's not just that the characters seem more substantial and better-rounded now than before; it's that she's grappling with serious questions this time, and does it well. I like plays and novels of ideas anyway -- it's hard to like Edwardian writing otherwise! -- and this is a fine example of such. I'm hoping to have a read of the script itself at some point, since I'd like to think it through properly. There were a couple of aspects of it that didn't ring quite true for me, but until I have a look at the script I'll reserve judgment. Like I said, it was a meaty play, with lots in it.

I'm still not sure about the performances of the two blokes, but the four girls were, I thought, spot on. Jane Lesley's Violet was -- for my limited amount of money -- the best of the quartet, but the other three were good too. Samantha Hopkins's 'Gemma' was hilarious and must have taken a phenomenal amount of control, Sara Pascoe's Talulah was disturbingly reminiscent of one or two people I know myself, and Ursula Early's Dorcet had a Jo Brand-esque earthiness that grounded the character remarkably well.

As for directing, there were a couple of violent scenes that were brilliantly executed, while the set seemed depressingly apt, though I'm sure the Fairy Blogmother is deluding herself in her conviction that Cohen's flat, in which all the action is set, is based on her own. Granted, it's about the same size, and both rooms have ingenious folding out chair-bed things for guests, but there the similarities end. And yes, I know, such clever bits of furniture surely have names, but I'm drawing a blank.

Anyway, enough of this. There's Amaretto to be sampled, and old Saturday Night Live Celebrity Jeopardy sketches to watch. I'll play your game, you rogue.

1 comment:

Dublin's Most Incorrigible Punster said...

I once saw Peter Kay jumping up and down on a pan scourer. So I went up to him and said, "Is this the way to harm a Brillo?"

Good to see you're back.