Monday, February 23, 2009

Five things I did in the last five days..

A fairly eventful last couple of days, here's the top five, in sort of reverse order;

5 Took a trip to the Kodak Theatre:

Yup. Took the hit, arranged a day off work and watched the Oscars live, 'till the wee early hours of this morning, five o'clock to be exact. The first time I've watched them live in a few years, glad I did too, must say.
Delighted for Slumdog, Danny Boyle was a very earnest and deserving winner, as was Sean Penn, who took the opportunity to admonish the many watching who had voted against the gay marriage bill, no doubt there was a few shifting uncomfortably in their sits. Felt for Mickey Rourke though, thought he deserved it every bit as much as Penn.
The highlight? Philippe Petit - star of Man On Wire - balancing the Oscar for best documentary on his chin.
The lowlight? The director flashing to Brad and Angelina when Jen Aniston was presenting, the flicker of annoyance on Jolie's face said it all.
Hugh Jackman did a good job, though he was relegated to the sidelines for a lot of the show.

4 Had a hangover:

See posts 3,2 and 1, below

3 Took a trip to old Ireland:

Ok not that old, but ventured out to Dirty Nelly's in Bunratty on Saturday evening, the first time I have spent any great time in the notorious tourist trap. Surprisingly good fun, watched the Munster match, eat, drank and enjoyed the music on offer. Sore head for my troubles afterward of course.

2 Took a trip to see a grizzled roar:

Went to Mick Flannery on Friday night. Had many an argument after.
Clearly the Corkman is going to divide as many as he inspires, owing to the nature of his personality and performance.
Incredibly introspective - "this is going to be mostly miserable" - and performing a clutch of songs that should send the audience running for the door, and it did, in some foolish cases.
This is a show that just should not work in any way, shape or form.
Yet it does.
At times stunning, mostly riveting and almost always stirring, Flannery sits, head down at the piano, growling out his tunes - not in the depressive vein of a bog standard Irish singer-songwriter (go on, you can think of a few), but in the gruff tones of a man who appears at least twice the mere 25 years of age he apparently is.
As the show progresses, Flannery picks up the pace slightly, allowing his very fine band to stretch their legs slightly; Near Or Far, California, Goodbye and Wait Here the undisputed highlights.
Afterward I catch Flannery for a quick chat.
"You caught me on a talkative day," he says of the day we conducted our interview, and then stares at his feet for a couple of minutes, before he is surrounded by young girls, eager for a photograph - and each time, though obviously uncomfortable - he obliges, cigarette dangling from his mouth.
It might all be an act, and it shouldn't work. But it does. Superbly.

1 The "God particle":

Went to see the Gentlemen's Tea Drinking Society in the Belltable on Thursday night.
A weird, Faustian blend of Stephen Hawking, Martin McDonagh and Quentin Tarantino - and some other elements I haven't decided on yet.
Ransom Productions were behind this stage show - featuring a specially commissioned David Holmes soundtrack, well, at least one track - which deals with life, the universe and everything. Specifically, the society are a group of old Cambridge friends who meet once a year to get drunk and discuss physics - and to rant and rave at each other, driven by central character Brian, a demented physicist who believes he has found a way to trap and control the "God particle", using a Hadron collidor that the British government have secretly constructed in the subway tunnels under London.
This was a mad, crazy, funny, violent, coarse and thought-provoking piece, powered by the strong performances of the actors, and the innovative set design. For more, see here.

No comments: