Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tom Conti, Naked (Romantic Comedy)

for my birthday, Bulbgirl took me to see romantic comedy, a play directed by, and starring one of scotland's best loved actors, Tom Conti. she surprised me on the way there, as we were supposed to be going to the cinema. calling her bluff i said aww, i was looking forward to american gangster. her face dropped, and i smiled saying only kidding. she's easily fooled that way. i was fooled too, but should with hindsight, have guessed: not once, but twice, in the preceding week did she mention Tom Conti, apparently to find out if i thought he was a good actor. Bulbgirl also told me that she had a secret she wanted to tell me, she's not very good at keeping secrets.

after a quick hot chocolate at starbucks and a detour to the Theatre Royale, instead of cineworld, we found our seats and settled in. no trailers like the cinema, but there was someone in the balcony above rustling sweetie wrappers. at least popcorn wasn't allowed in.

it's been ages since i saw a play, being more used to jumping in to the cinema. what struck me was the american accents, done by all the cast. one or two slipped during the performance, but on the whole were pretty good. it brought back memories of staging end of year musicals at school when everyone had to do an american accent (with varying degrees of success). i think that the play would have been fine with just scottish accents. it must take a fair amount of concentration to keep up an accent when that energy could be directed into the performance, Bulbgirl disagrees.

pretty early on Conti, playing a playwright, makes a naked appearance, but he happened to be carrying a massage table, convering his bits. whether he was really naked, only he and the people in the right hand balcony will know. he later revealed his pasty white legs near the end , and while his body isn't quite as athletic as a tennis player, an in-joke in the play, he's in not too bad shape for a 66 year old.

there was only a cast of 6, and the leading lady, Kate Atkinson did a great job. she is actually australian but i didn't guess. Eleanor David, who plays Blanche, had the best american accent.

unaccustomed as i am to theatre going, it was great that the play was slightly self referential, centred on two playwrights, unsynchronised passion, and what it takes to make a play successful. there was even a line where Conti says that ushers tend not to watch play but just talk loudly in the lobby. i wonder if the ushers at the Theatre Royale will watch the show.

at one point, it seemed that Conti had doubled over in an unplanned fit of the giggles, and it was contagious, the audience started laughing not knowing if he was acting or doing it for real. unless you're watching a documentary, that's not something you can get at the cinema.

which do you prefer?


Vicious Summer said...

How fun! I havn't been to a play in ages...It's so funny to hear you talk about American accents, I was thinking about that the other day. I was wondering if people made fun of American accents or thought they were "cool" (my guess is that we get made fun of, since Americans are pretty much loathed worldwide)? :D

Bulbboy said...

i won't kid you and say there isn't a fair amount of loathing worldwide going on, but don't think that's to do with vocal shenanigans, but bad decisions.

for me, the US accent was cool as a child, because a lot of Star Wars characters had them.

and it's ok to mock the accent, only when done really badly. :D

Vicious Summer said...

I don't doubt the world wide loathing...I can't stand the stereo-typical American myself.

It's funny to think about yourself as having an "accent". I'm sure you don't feel that you have one, right? It was just a few years ago that I finally thought, "Wait a second...I must sound funny as hell to people across the pond. Hold on...Dare I say it? Do I have an accent to them?!" I guess it never really hit me because every where I've traveled, English has not been the primary language and I try to ("when in Rome") speak in the local dialect. Perhaps that's why I've never been called out as an American (or f%$#ing American...), hence not realizing that people can peg you simply by the way you speak...

Bulbboy said...

as my parents are from the north-west of scotland, even other people where i used to work thought i had a strange accent. once people get used to it they hardly notice it, just the first couple of times.

funnily enough, i was asked by customers if i was Brazilian, Icelandic, Italian and a few others!


Tyler said...

"I can't stand the stereo-typical American myself."

I'll second that ;)

Richamation said...

Loud talking ushers in the lobby. My geek-sense is tingling. Name that move.

It’s amazing isn’t it, how complicated a simple thing like being some place at eight o’clock can become...... Actually there was this obnoxious usher, somebody has to talk to that usher.