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Just thinking about Stuff

October 13, 2010

Odd bits of news, really. First, as I type, miner number 9 has been rescued in Chile. Rather reassuring that instead of threatening to bomb each other with the latest technology, countries can get together and do something amazing with it instead, and in a very short time. This makes me happy.

Also in the news, and referring back to my thoughts of a few months ago about the launch of the Boris Bike scheme, apparently 1 million journeys have now been completed. Just 3 bikes have been stolen – either for scrap metal value (those things seem heavy) or maybe by somebody wishing to try and preserve good taste in mechanical design by removing bad examples from circulation. Interesting just how many kamikaze Londoners are out there, and it will be even more interesting to see how many journeys are clocked up in the winter months. When I passed one of the un-roofed racks on a rainy day last week, those saddles promised a soggy ride.

Back on to theatre news, and I was delighted to hear that “The Commitments” is to be made into a stage musical to cash in on its 20th anniversary. Of course, the fact the film is 20 years old stopped me for a moment. Back in my very first year of Uni, I had a gap in the first term’s timetable that provided enough time to catch a film each week between classes. “The Commitments” was the first one I saw, at a newly opened cinema. I remember afterwards begging for the VHS (DVD wasn’t around back then) as a gift (remember how expensive films used to be!), and I still have it. Years later I came across the original novels, “The Barrytown Trilogy.”  “The Commitments” itself is even better than the film – I hope the stage version is based on that, or maybe a blend of the two.

While wallowing in nostalgia, I got another lesson this week at the stage version of “Flashdance.” Of course, seeing your era as history is one thing, but it was the audience that interested me more. A recent brilliant thread on the message board details all the annoying behaviour of other audience members while posters have been trying to enjoy a show. Musicals, particularly the “Flashdance” variety, were the worst for attracting the alcoholic / incontinent / mildly insane.

My visit yielded no such individuals… and nor did visits to other shows with high ‘lunatic attracting’ counts. Why? Worryingly, I put it down to the fact I was surrounded by a mostly invited audience. The fact we were wasn’t the worry. What did bother me was whether it means I got an artificial auditorium experience. Does that mean I’d form a different opinion due to the environment or not? Something to think about, I think.

P.S. Just thought: if you are not part of the solution, you may be part of the problem, of course…

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