Wednesday, July 31, 2013

horace batchelor+frances ha

Moira+I are having a busy theatre+cinema week this week*.
Last night, we joined our lovely friends Chris+Lal to see the opening night of “An Audience With Horace Batchelor: King of Keynsham” at The Brewery Theatre. The theatre was absolutely packed to bursting (tickets were discounted at just £5 for the first performance, so we can't really complain!). If you’re under 40 years old, you’ve probably never heard of Horace Batchelor and his adverts on Radio Luxemburg promoting his “infra-draw method” for winning the football pools (“Keynsham… spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M, Keynsham, Bristol”!).  Needless to say, the average age of the audience was well above 60 years of age!
Roland Oliver was convincing in the “Horace” role – except for his frequent (and rather embarrassing) need to check his lines in the folder on top of his desk. One of the main themes of the play underlined Batchelor’s sense of being unappreciated by society at large (eg. no streets named after him or blue plaques erected in his memory).
Not the best live theatre we’ve experienced, I’m afraid!
On an altogether more positive note, we THOROUGHLY enjoyed Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha” at the Watershed this afternoon, starring the excellent Greta Gerwig. It’s essentially about an aspiring dancer who moves to New York to try to make a life for herself as a performer. It’s beautifully shot (in black+white) and a funny, enjoyable film and it contains some lovely moments – such as Frances running down a New York street to accompaniment of David Bowie soundtrack. After watching the “Imagine” programmes on Woody Allen earlier in the week, it was difficult to avoid comparisons with “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan”.
We enjoyed “Frances Ha” a lot!
PS: *We’ve also got tickets to see an alfresco version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” at The Old Vic on Saturday (the weather forecast is for rain!).
Photo: Horace Batchelor (left) plus Sophie (Mickey Sumner) and Frances (Greta Gerwig).

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