Saturday, June 11, 2005
Today was a very cultured day - I met up with Susan and Julian to see a adaptation of Dracula at the Rep, though first we indulged by having tapas at La Tasca, with sherry and vino tinto. As we entered the theatre, there was a spooky voice saying short sentences, though I didn't quite fathom what was being said. The whole theatre was plunged into darkness and the play began. Now it was billed as being fairly scary and that under 14s may not want to go and see it - but quite frankly it was all a bit silly. The modern use of mobile phones and email was fine, but the messages were displayed on a large screen that was just distracting, as we couldn't read all the words. And Count Dracula himself had regular funny little quips that undermined his character. We did jump at the gun shots though! Afterwards, we decided to try out the Havana Bar on the canalside. A narrow boat pulled up complete with 'Life of Brian'-esque characters clad in underpants and false beards! Dan met me there and we said goodbye to Susan and Julian. Very kindly Ann had donated a pair of tickets that she couldn't use, so we were off to see Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle and pieces by Wagner and Strauss at the Symphony Hall, performed by Opera North. Dan hadn't been to the opera before and I only just stopped him from dropping off, but I thought it was great! The Wagner was very rousing before the darkening of the tone with four songs from Strauss. Then the Bartok - we had the newly knighted Sir John Tomlinson as the duke and Sally Burgess as Judith. They too, however, had a distracting screen with digital images projected on to it, which I thought unnecessary. The singing was beautiful and the full force of the orchestra when the fifth door was opened nearly blew my socks off!!!