Friday, October 23, 2015

The Hairy Ape

I watched the #HairyApe  at The Old Vic and give it a 4.5/5 rating.

It's a bit out of date I suppose. Some what like Everyman I watched at National Theatre. The classism portrayed is so everyday like that the impact is far reduced. I wonder, 20 years from now, would please think the same about the so called contemporary issues of today?

The play was done flawlessly with multiple set changes that I did not expect from an old play in a West End Theatre. The steam engine room of the ship had a camaraderie of the working class. The singing tunes of manual labour shine on to the dreams the industrial revolution gave people and the eventual strength it provided in their musings questioning elitism.

Acting was good in general, though not too many actors had large roles. Most of the play is just our protagonist who an aristocratic spoilt brat sees covered in coal and screams. I thought he was really good looking covered in coal and screaming and shouting out propaganda of how it is he and his kind that run the ship and not the rich who travel on it. Once he cleans up, he looks a little meek and his vigour and passion seem reduced. The long monologue with the metaphorical hairy ape (our protagonist) and the actual hairy ape was slightly too drawn out but I get the drift.

Obvious special mention to the incredible ape and the actor behind the mask!

Photograph 51

Interesting it was, to understand the politics and the competition of the research world. But it was nothing like what it was made out to be for popularity. On the news, it was all about feminism and how Rosalind Franklin lost the opportunity to be the one to discover the double helix structure of DNA because she was a woman and wasn't taken seriously by her male counterparts and that her work was stolen. If anything, the play showed it the other way around. She didn't take her counterparts seriously enough to collaborate with them. But she also didn't get involved in the race and she didn't mind losing a race she didn't participate in. She cared about finding the truth and she was happy with that. True, the theoretic structure of Watson and Crick would have been worthless without her physiographic proof and also probably inspired by her potentially stolen photographs. But she didn't believe in theories. She was most certainly, not a feminist and I think she would not appreciate being called one. The world of science is competitive and ruthless, and she having become the most respected scientist in her field would know that better than anyone else. So the story as it goes, some of it is obviously fictionalised, some of it must be true, and it is what it is. And as it is, it's very inspiring. It's good to see a strong willed woman in science and I do hope we have more plays showing women in science and to children in school. The story didn't need a feminist angle or a love story to inspire young women to become scientists or young male scientists to respect their female peers.

The sets were simple enough with no changes. Nicole Kidman was remarkably good with the limited amount of acting the character needed. Certainly not the best actress this year in theatre as Evening Standard would like us to believe but definitely subtle and experienced.

I watched #photograph51  at the Noel Coward Theatre and give it a 3.5/5 rating. #NicoleKidman