Phantom of the Opera Les Mis, Mamma Mia!, the Lion King, and Wicked were sold out, so I treated myself to the second night of a revival of Good, a 1981 play commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The new production economizes on the number of actors to an impressive yet also absurd degree. The roles of wife, girlfriend, and mother are all played by the same actor, for example.
Although there are no characters who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA+ or of Color (or 2SLGBTQQIA+ and of Color), the play is timely because it concerns Nazis, who have never been more numerous on Planet Earth (everyone who disagrees with me, for example). The lead is David Tennant, who has played Dr. Who on BBC and this led to every one of the 796 seats in the Harold Pinter Theater having been sold (I got the last one at 7:13 pm for a 7:30 pm show).
One great aspect to the play is that it explores the tendency of academics to embrace whatever political ideology is necessary to hold onto and/or climb to the next run of the university ladder. There is also an exploration of what happens when the fresh young student is competing with the tired wife and mother for a dynamic professor’s attention. The play looks at extremely late term abortion care, i.e., whether it is okay to perform abortion care on the elderly whose quality of life has declined (euthanasia). This is what gets Nazi Party officials interested in the professor, who ultimately wears a fine SS officer’s uniform. The play is at its weakest in showing the audience how this apparently useless literature professor could plausibly have been considered of some importance to the National Socialist cause.
It is worth spending $150-200 per person on this experience? Maybe, but the seats are pretty uncomfortable if you’re older than 30 or taller than 5’4″. And a musical with 200 singing dancing cast members is a better value on a per-actor/per-skill basis.
Loyal readers will be disappointed if I don’t share some masketology. Perhaps 10 or 20 out of the 796 audience members were wearing masks, about half simple cloth masks and half more elaborate affairs. As readers will recognize, this is a source of confusion for me. They’re afraid enough of COVID-19 to wear a mask, but not afraid enough to stay home and experience something theatrical via streaming video rather in close proximity to 794 strangers? One lady was sitting right in front of me and had the mask off during intermission and then put it back on again for the second act. Apologies for the poor mobile phone image quality in dim light, but here are a couple of folks with the high-end masks walking out:
Soho and Chinatown were packed on a Thursday night following the theater. Pubs all around central London seem to be packed, beer drinkers spilling out and congregating on the sidewalks in front of the pub until at least 10:30 pm. The English economy is going down the tube (so to speak), but these folks still have plenty of money to spend on drinking in pubs? (Maybe this is because the government has promised to borrow money and spend it in such a way that consumers don’t suffer a reduction in lifestyle.)
Also on the way back to the hotel, I went by the Monument to the Women of World War II, which reminds us that it is not going up in a 1,000+ horsepower Spitfire during the Battle of Britain with 100 hours of flying experience that required bravery, but rather staying on the ground.
There were some political posters outside Whitehall.
and here’s a guy nobody talks about anymore:
Nobody is upset if Julian Assange dies in prison without ever having been convicted of anything?Full post, including comments