Monday, 26 January 2009

My Junk is You! You! You!

Well 'My junk' is mainly baking and musical theatre as regular readers will testify. This weekend heralded the much longed for, slightly feared (in case it was ruined) first preview of the UK production of Spring Awakening.

As much as I was excited about Friday night's performance I was also insanely trepidatious about what it held in store, I have a lot of admiration, respect and love for the Original Broadway Cast of Spring and was loathed to believe, or even entertain the notion that they could be bettered. I was wrong, there was something that made the production feel like it had come home from the moment Charlotte Wakefield stepped on her chair in her chemise, to that final glorious a cappella crescendo in The Song of Purple Summer (don't look for it on the CD; it's an orchestration that was added after that was recorded. Yes I'm a nerd, judge me if you will). The Lyric Hammersmith is a theatre I've been fond of for many years, having fainted there during a performance when I was in the sixth form. Seriously though I love the fact that as a theatre it's not afraid to stage really cutting edge performances be they dance, physical theatre, comedy, or as we see here musicals. Spring Awakening held little by way of a surprise for me (although some new additions and changes were pure delight) but the cast were stunning, Aneurin Barnard is an intense and sorrowful Melchior, a steadfast friend to Moritz and a young man denied the joy of falling in love for the first time. I had the undeniable pleasure of seeing Richard Southgate the understudy for Moritz whose less desperate character made him undeniably sympathetic and gentle in his lost, angsty self. Charlotte Wakefield was for me a revelation as Wendla, because as much as I had always adored Melchior, Wendla had always seemed well, a bit wet and whiny for my taste. This young woman knew what she wanted and screamed back at Melchior, pushed him, dared him to hurt her, yet could only touch as a mother touches her child, stroking his tears away. Without knowing it her Wendla was already stepping into the maternal shoes she was destined for.

To talk about the three leads is not to deny the other characters their glory, Evelyn Hoskins should win awards for making the easily overlookable Thea spunky and full of life, when she grabs Anna's hands whilst rocking out to Totally F****d you see a woman full of life. Natasha Barnes and Hayley Gallivan as Anna and Martha respectively have stunning voices and (like their OBC counterparts) bring pathos and sensitivity to these girls. The most powerful line in the whole piece (to my mind at least) has always been...

"When I have children I'll let them be free, and they'll grow strong and tall"

...and Natasha as Anna gave those words their verity. Like the girls the boys showed the shades to their characters, Jamie Blackley and Harry McEntire stealing the vineyard scene with their bubbling passion.

For me the adults are so often overlooked, I think because of the audience that talks about, obsesses over, adulates this show the adults can seem one dimesional, as in part their portrayal by the same two people is intended to convey. It doesn't matter whether you are a teacher, a mother, father or doctor; the fact is that you hold power and the children don't. However the amount of skill and depth of ability to portray so many distinct characters with sometimes no more than walking around a chair to signify a change astounds me, and I have to say that Sian Thomas and Richard Cordery have that quite simply nailed.

I could enthuse for pages, but I shan't inflict that on those of you who couldn't give a fig about musical theatre in general and teenage angsty musicals in specific. I will move on to talking about pizza - along with Spring Awakening the yeast obsession continues...

The boyfriend and I made pizza this weekend, he made up the dough (apparently, and I quote "you need big strong arms"), quite simply from 00 flour, extra virgin olive oil, salt and some of our fresh yeast (yes snaps still going out to Sainsburys, 16p for our fresh yeast supply!) He kneaded the living daylights out of it while I had a much needed rest, and then once it had had an initial prove on the radiator, I knocked it back and rolled it out as thinly as humanly possible. You could practically see through it. We made three pizzas and topped them with a concentrated tomato sauce, mozzarella, olives, some hams and any other yumminess we could locate within the fridge.

Served simply with a glass of white wine each, they absolutely rocked. Now we never order takeaway, but if we did I would be swapping to home made now, these are definitely becoming Friday night dinner material. Easy to eat on our laps, in front of the telly, with a glass of wine while I try to talk him into going to see another musical and he expounds the virtues of guitar hero.
Now if anyone would like to buy me tickets to SA for my birthday that would be fabby ;-)


Jules said...

...I've really got to stop singing your blog titles!
Glad you had a great time at SA. There is nothing wrong with being a MT geek ;)

Teresa said...

Homemade pizza is delicious. I've just started to make my own too. Yours look wonderful.


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