Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Observer at the Cottesloe Theatre, RNT, South Bank

I realise this is becoming even more dull than it was when I went to different places so here is probably my last bunch of shots down at the South Bank part of the river.

An email popped into my box offering half price matinee seats for Richard Eyre's current directorial outing and being of temporarily diminished means, I grabbed the chance.

The NT is one those theatres where you really don't get that 'afternoon' sense from the audience so much, especially on a Saturday. Today's performance was staggering. It's a deeply political piece so Adam was a bit bored & kept asking Joe if he could explain things. Joe feigned deep interest but was clearly more transfixed by the implied promise of Anna Chancellor needing to loosen her clothing while she struggled to impose her character's sense of justice in the heat of the election process for this overlooked West African state.

If you've never been there, our glorious Royal National Theatre has three auditoriums. I prefer the Olivier but the teeny, tiny Cottesloe comes a close second. The Lyttelton is a bit of a lump but it serves it's purpose. Just don't make me sit in the circle of any one of them.

The Cottesloe is like a large studio with flexible staging & seating. It is accessed around the side of the main building so I couldn't take any really representative shots. The picture above is a combo of the foyer entrance, the sign and then the stage door which is a few yards up the road.

The sun was still cooking the planet (thanks, Al Gore) when the play finished so we lingered a little.
At this time of year there are outdoorsy projects and they wheel in the oversized green furniture for the tourists to play on. It's just a bit of fun. There was a parkour event slated but I didn't stick around for it.

I felt too conspicuous to take snaps inside but after we'd dribbled over the achingly moving work of James Ravilious in the Olivier foyer we found a secret stairway that took us directly to the annual exhibition of The Press Photographer’s Year 08 which is always one of the most staggering free photographic exhibitions of the summer. Now, I like to think I know my way around this complex pretty thoroughly but Stair 132 (or was it 131?) is a new one on me.

Finished off the afternoon with a little paddle. Sadly, the tide was so high that we couldn't make sandcastles on the beach but I fear that when we do stumble upon a low tide, that might give me another excuse to drone on about this area again..................and I haven't even got started about Tate Modern or The Globe, yet.

You might be thinking that I work in the PR department for river related cultural activities but I don't. My passion for this place is entirely genuine.

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