Saturday, September 15, 2012

wild oats at the bristol old vic

It was very good to be at the Bristol Old Vic last night to experience first-hand the newly-refurbished Grade 1 theatre in action. It’s the country’s oldest working theatre (built in 1766) – and the only example left of its kind.
Our good friend Sam Alexander (actually, he’s VERY good friends of our daughters and Felix from their Thame Youth Theatre days)(blimey, that seems a long time ago!) was playing the lead (Jack Rover) in Mark Rosenblatt’s revival of John O’Keefe’s “Wild Oats” comedy (written in 1791!). It’s a play-within-a-play full of farcical situations and with “Shakespearian” mistaken identities and performed by a fine all-round cast. I wasn’t entirely convinced by Rosenblatt’s decision to give the play a “1940s feel” but, nevertheless, it VERY enjoyable way to spend a Friday evening.
Photo: Emily May Smith as Jane and Sam as Jack Rover.
PS: It was impressive to see that the stage now extends through the proscenium arch and a great relief to experience comfortable seats (compared with the old versions!). It looked as though leg-room and comfort was the order of the day in the “Pit” (ie. stalls); we sat in the front row of the Upper Circle (brilliant view) and I suspect that here (and in the Dress Circle and Gallery too?) leg-room had to be compromised slightly in order to maintain architectural integrity.

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