Tuesday, 6 November 2012

'I could be at home watching television.'

'Stop, stop, stop! It doesn't work and you don't work. It is not good enough. I could be at home watching television.' Thus the booming tones of theatrical legend Sir Peter Hall from a seat in the stalls of the Vaudeville Theatre towards the end of a performance of what is by most accounts a pretty dire new production of Uncle Vanya. Sadly he then spoiled the effect of this blast of plain speaking by apologising profusely, hosing the cast with adulation, and describing the production and all involved in it as absolutely lovely, super and wonderful. He had, he explained, been 'briefly disorientated' on waking up after having nodded off - which in itself suggests that he was rather less than enthralled by what was going on on stage. Could it be that his brief disorientation led him to blurt out the truth - a thing that is not done in theatrical circles.

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