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The performers proving age is no barrier to the stage -

Data Visualisation:


Maps and Data Visualisations with R -

Film Industry:

Hollywood trans roles under fire - again -

Food and Drink:

The fishy ingredient in beer that bothers vegetarians -


Documents 'shed light' on Scotswoman killed at Auschwitz -


Want to age well - how about never retiring? -

The north/south weather divide on hottest day of year -

The strange story of a seized Hanjin ship and its lonely crew -

Can India really halve its road deaths? -



Football's biggest prize returns - but all its flaws are on show -


Rio Paralympics 2016: Alex Zanardi wins gold on eve of 15-year crash anniversary -


Tank at 100: Baptism of fire, fear and blood -


Race play's 'universal' message -


Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:03 pm
redfiona99: (Default)

Honorary Oscar for British 'trailblazer' editor Anne V Coates -




An Oral History of 'Spaced' -


The one where Medea saves her kids: lost classics of Greek tragedy -
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Back from the RSC version.

I enjoyed it immensely, but then again, I'm pretty much the target audience ;)

It was fun, and even if you can see why the authors threw in the line about the plot being wafer-thin (not those words) sometimes, like with ice-cream, wafers are just what you need. I also liked that it was a comedy in both sense of the word, and that everyone got a happy ending, not just the good guys. The people who wanted to get married got married, the people that didn't want to get married didn't, marital discord was ending, various transgressions were forgiven and all parties were reconciled. It's just so happy.

I'm also struggling valiantly not to make a roaring success joke.


Jun. 20th, 2014 06:23 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Why Icelanders are wary of elves living beneath the rocks -

Bard garb: dramatic Shakespeare costumes -

Football Section:

How Belgium Built Their Golden Generation -
Or yet another way of doing it that the FA will ignore.

On why Iran are one Liverpool fanzine's second team -
Really worth reading.

The Birthday Paradox at Brazil 2014 -
Or using the World Cup to explain a mathematical axiom.

Meet the World Cup ref who’s richer than the players he bosses about -
Given that you couldn't pay me to be a referee, I have no idea why he does it.

World Cup 2014: Golden goals, golf carts and other innovations -
Various innovations, that worked and didn't, from this and previous World Cups.

An exhibition of the work of Paul Trevillion, sports artist -
The stories that go with the pictures are wonderful.


Oct. 23rd, 2013 11:45 am
redfiona99: (Thinking)
No, I don't have a Hamlet problem.

I went to see the National Theatre Live showing of the Rory Kinnear's Hamlet -

The fun thing is that I wouldn't have known about the National Theatre doing this kind of thing if it hadn't been for [ profile] evilgmbethy which, given that she lives an ocean away, might tell you something about how well the NT do their advertising over here.

They are forgiven for that, and for the terrible lighting in the opening scene and the occasional technical hitch on Cineworld's end because oh, it's a good Hamlet.

Rory Kinnear's Hamlet sails past both my tests for a good Hamlet, in that I didn't think "oh get on with it" at him at any point nor did I end up actively cheering for Laertes. He looks like an over-grown student and still looks young enough to be Hamlet*. There's something so soft about him that I wanted to go "oi, Claudius, stop being mean to your nephew". And the look on his face when he realises that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz have betrayed him.

I love that they gave the background characters stuff to do, like the look of horror on Bernardo's face when he sees the old King's portrait, and the courtiers's screaming terror at every new attack.

I admit I was a bit dubious when they were bigging up the surveillance theme in the intro but they actually went through with it, using their budget so that there was always someone in security uniforms in the wings watching, and how they treated Ophelia and oh, it was a well done theme. Funny thing was some twenty-something early fuddy-duddies in the audience were tutting about that and I'm like no, this was a good thing.**

And then opening bit with Claudius doing his speech as a "King's Christmas Broadcast/Fireside chat" thing was clever, as was the ending with Osric and the rest of the courtiers glad-handing Fortinbras and choosing to ignore Horatio because the truth is dangerous and oh, I did like what they did.

It wasn't perfect, see above complaints about the lighting, but it was good.

* which is pretty good going given that it turns out he's a good 5 years older than I though he was. This is not a dealbreaker for me, neither of my favourite Hamlets are young enough to play him.

** then again they were comparing this negatively to the Tennant Hamlet which IMO wasn't as good as this and I realise matters of taste are subjective but they're wrong and I'm right.

Henry V

Sep. 26th, 2013 04:32 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Saw this version - at the cinema yesterday.

Not impressed.

Now for some reason, when I saw Dominic Dromgoole's name as director my subconscious went "well, that explains it" but since my conscious cannot recall anything else directed by him that I've seen, that has to remain an inexplicable reaction. If anyone can think of any reason for it, I'd be grateful.

As for what was wrong with it, I am aware that everything is not a useful answer, and is also deeply unfair to what were a decent Henry, a good Exeter and some really good work by the guy playing Captain Jamie/Orleans/the soldier that Henry gets into a fight with/the Earl of Cambridge and by Captain Gower.

The major problems are fourfold:

1 - I, personally, hadn't ever really considered Henry V to be a broad, farcical comedy. We're talking bad Carry On levels of broad. But not as funny (mostly, Gower and Fluellen, and Gower and Jamie and Fluellen, and all the other scenes where Gower was the only sensible head anywhere in France were all funny). It just lead to some whiplash problems of "wailing over the boys in the luggage right back to comedy" or "wailing over English dead right back to comedy" without a break.

2 - Which brings me to point 2. The pacing was off, there were three or four scenes were someone was supposed to be emoting, but while they were setting up the next scene and just getting in the way. Seriously, let those scenes run for an extra 20-30 seconds, let the actor leave the stage in some manner more natural than being bundled off and suddenly, for an extra one or two minutes run time, it works better.

3 - also allied to point 1 - it fell on the wrong side of the risqué/vulgar line far too often. And I'm fine with deliberate vulgarity. It just felt so leaden. I'm not sure you can have boring vulgarity but this came very close.

4 - All of the Eastcheap characters and Fluellen could have done with turning it down about 6 notches. Particularly Pistol. Pistol caused a full-on "oh no, there's going to be another Pistol scene, isn't there. Do we have to?" reaction. He seemed to be speaking along the text, and just hoping he'd get to the end of this bit without getting anything wrong, and rhyme and meter and meaning could go hang.

It wasn't all bad, I mean, I loved that the three traitors played the French nobles and as I said, Gower, Exeter and Henry were good, particularly Henry. He was so very believable in the Kiss me, Kate bit at the end. Although, this may be the only Henry V where the Kiss me, Kate bit is the best part of the play (they were so very adorable).


I also saw the trailer for the new Romeo and Juliet, which is about as much Shakespeare's as Verdi's Otello is Billy Shakestaff's. Really, there ought to be a trades description rule about it. It's not just because I'm bitter and think I could write better faux-Shakespeare than Julian Fellows, although that plays a huge part in it.


Aug. 24th, 2013 08:49 pm
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Back from this season's RSC Hamlet.

It wasn't as good as As You Like It but I've come to the understanding that that As You Like It was exceptional.

While this, it wasn't bad, it's just I see Hamlet completely differently to how this production had him )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Just back from seeing the RSC doing As You Like It.

It was fantastic.

Really fantastic )

I don't think I can get across how joyous it was. Like honest to goodness I want to hug everyone I meet because we're alive and it is awesome levels of joy.
redfiona99: (Default)
A couple of weekends ago, I watched Broken Holmes (, a Sherlock Holmes parody.

Now, before I comment upon it, I have to admit to a mild conflict of interest, because I know the man playing Holmes and his little sister is a good friend of mine.

Even without that, it would still have my recommendation because it's very funny, and disturbingly accurate. Imagine the most recent Sherlock Holmes but with the subtext being text, and taken to its logical conclusion. It's set after "The Empty House", and years of putting up with each other has started to wear on the 'great detective' and his collegue.

My favourite bit had to be Fido (comment shall remain unexplained for fear of spoilers) but I liked how they did the villaness and Lestrade.

If it happens to be showing anywhere in your vicinity, go along.
redfiona99: (Default)
I live.

Went to see a play on Saturday, a translation of "Trumpets and Raspberries" by Daniel Fo, who apparently won a Nobel Prize. Unfortunately it was a student translation so there was a lot of "ooh look at us aren't we daring" and a fair but of overacting. But it was okay.

Went fencing and then went to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company, which was great fun. It looked like they had fun too.

Then was violently ill on Monday, eliminating everything from my body. And that's the un-TMI version.

Sanger problem is kind of sorted.

Now to watch CSI and wait for "Turning Point" to download.


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