With all the theatre award ceremonies taking place left and right, I thought now would be a good time to have a look through my list (yes, I have a list) of shows I saw over the past year and decide my own personal favourites. Not because I’m under the impression that a lot of people will care about that, but because occasionally it’s nice to look back and remind yourself of all the awesome stuff that you saw. Inevitably, there are always a few shows, actors, sets, etcetera, that stand out so much you’ll easily recall them a year on. Note that this might be for good and bad reasons both. But there are also shows, actors and sets that you somehow lose track of, even though they were really good. They get caught up in five-show-days at Edinburgh, or you somehow misplace them in that dark corner of your memory where you also store the name of that film you know that one actor from or where you put that pen you just had in your hand. And they too deserve to be remembered, hence the list. So, I’ve done a bit of digging and come up with my five favourite shows this year.
A few days ago I went to see Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Stephen Sondheim’s 1990 musical about the nine men and women who, successfully or unsuccessfully, attempted to kill a president of the United States. It’s a fascinating show for many reasons: its vignette-style format with very little narrative, the way it’s staged on the long and narrow floor of the Chocolate Factory and, of course, its challenging subject.
Last week I promised a second part to my blog on my grievances with the current job market, and here we are. Let’s just say you acquire a lot of frustrations when your main employment is finding employment. Apart from my issues with the internship-situation I described last week, there’s another problem: the need employers feel to hire people with ‘experience’. It probably sounds rather unreasonable of me to take issue with that; after all, wouldn’t everyone take an experienced person over an inexperienced one? Doesn’t experience just make someone more qualified to do a job?
So, for the past few months I’ve been applying for jobs, along with writing my dissertation at first and since the start of October next to all the other stuff unemployed people do (like hang out in their pyjamas and eat biscuits). And the more positions I apply for, the more I’m starting to think there’s something fundamentally wrong with the system.
Yes, it's Halloween and of course that means that we can all go to the cinema and see Danny Boyle's 2011 production of Frankenstein via NT Live Encore, which I myself did last night. In the year and a bit since I came to London I have seen a few NT screenings and I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a big fan of them. This sentiment, however, is not unanimously shared among theatre folk; Alan Ayckbourne voiced his belief that cinema screenings of plays will stop people going to the theatre, while last month Cillian Murphy remarked that 'if you put a camera on the theatre, it dies'.