Thursday, November 26, 2009

London Notes

  • Spent three hours in the National Portrait Gallery.  On exhibit was the 2009 Photographic Portraiture contest, which I loved.  Lately, I've been feeling tired of photography, most of which I've seen has been photojournalism and/or advertising or both (!).  The power of images that should destroy me with either wonder or horror have been leaving me cold and wondering if I (and all of us) have become numb to images.  But then, here were these artistically sound images, composed and crafted to arrest one's attention.  Subjects that would earn a fleeting glance from me in sloppier or more quickly-snapped photos wouldn't let me go...  and I felt my heart peel open.  It reminded me why I was once so interested in photographs.  I've more than one potential photo essay simmering away in the back of my mind, somewhere... though they'll have to wait.  I was grateful (and wistful) for this show.
  • AVENUE Q and WAR HORSE:  two puppet shows in a row.  We went to AVENUE Q on our first night while we were bleary with jet lag and wanted merely to stay awake a long while before going to sleep.  I'd never seen it.  I enjoyed it for what it was.  And the cast shows off phenomenal skill, singing, dancing, acting, and subordinating themselves to hand puppets all at the same time.  WAR HORSE was also enjoyable, though not quite the overwhelming experience several theater people whom I highly respect thought it was.  The puppetry is compelling and frequently beautiful.  What I most loved about the show was its dancerly quality.  When plot fell away and we  were bound to the spell of beautifully choreographed animal behavior.  The story itself falls short of the artistry used to tell it.
  • The weather here is gorgeous, blue skies and mildly cold temperatures.  Terrific walking weather.
  • Tonight, we see MOTHER COURAGE with Fiona Shaw!

No comments: