oleanna plus romeo & juliet equals cher

Posted: 06/01/2004 in culture, london life, theare
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Book-ending my trip north was some memorable nights out – the theatre trips were disappointing so the winner by a mile was the woman in her fifties belting out songs whilst prancing around in a thong:)

It feels as if Cher has been doing her farewell tour for years but apparently this is it and what a show – Britney and Christina take note. Acrobats, dancers, sequins and an elephant….. I love that Cher answers to no-one and doesn’t give a fig. At one point she dons a costume very similar to the one she was ridiculed for wearing on the ‘Turn Back Time’ video – the only difference is the nylon is a slightly higher denier this decade.

Two things drew me to David Mamet’s Oleanna – his wordsmith and the eye candy that is Aaron Eckhart. I enjoyed the themes raised in the play (is higher education this centuries greatest swindle) and the performances were fine. Strangely, Eckhart came across as more conformable in his role as the professor (though a little young) than Julie Stile’s portrayal as a student – go figure as she is studying at university in real life. The thing that bugged me was that it was rather short, 90 minutes including the interval, and it deserved a third act. There is a power struggle through out – first with the lecturer having the knowledge the student desperately wants, then it flips and the lecturer doesn’t understand the charges of sexual harassment and finally snaps. I thought it would be more interesting if the power flipped again and violence wasn’t the result.

The Globe’s production of Romeo and Juliet was so poor that I was nearly pushed to an act of violence myself. They played the first half for laughs – which undermined the gentle comedic relief that the Nurse brings. Apart from the Friar, nobody else seemed comfortable with the prose and their presentation made it ackward. I felt is a lazy production relying on the awesome setting of the Globe and the jewel coloured costumes.

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