Saturday, 12 September 2009

Mother Courage

"I won't let you spoil my war for me."
I saw Mother Courage and her Children last night at the National Theatre in London. I was quite surprised by it. For quite an old play it had a mostly modern script and the characters where also modernly presented.
Fiona Shaw played the part of Mother Courage, and I think she played the role wonderfully. The role in itself is incredibly demanding, with the character hardly off the stage in the long 3 and a half hours running time of the play. Her portrayal had so much deep emotion, which I know was not the point that Brecht wanted to make, but you could do nothing but empathise with her. Her development and understanding of the character was strong and there wasn't a moment during the play when I thought, "is that really how Mother Courage would react to that?"
Having never seen the play before I have nothing to compare it to and so I don't know whether what the production showed as in the set was out of the ordinary for that play. The set, however was pretty peculiar. As we were getting in our seats, it looked as if they were setting up for the show, with no curtains drawn and random people testing out the sounds and dancing crazily around on stage. Mother Courage's wagon came up from under the stage on a platform and the whole staging looked quite industrial.
I suppose it did sort of follow the Brechtian style of reminding you that you actually were sitting in a theatre and that the people on stage were only actors, and not real as costume changes were done on stage, with people coming on with extra coats to give the actors and the stage hands just walking on randomly in full light to change the sets. There were cloth hangings telling us where we were in the play, and a person saying what scene we were currently on.
I really enjoyed all the songs in it as well and I thought that they all sang really well.

I'm not sure it was to everyone's taste though as after the interval, I saw that many of the seats which were taken in the first act had been vacated when we returned. In some ways I was disappointed with the end as well. It was as if the story kind of just stopped and the fate of the last and oldest son was never uncovered and the applause at the end was stifled before everyone realised that the really was the end, but then the applause was great, and the cast thoroughly deserved the noise the audience created as the cast it was clear was hugely talented.

Two people from Harry Potter as well, Fiona Shaw, who played the title role, and the guy who plays Dudley Dursley, though I can't remember his actual name, played Swiss Cheese. Yes Swiss Cheese.

Anyway, I have just finished my first philosophy essay, and after thinking my brain would explode after yesterday's lesson I think I have done quite well in discussing the Mind-Body Problem. And I have also decided to do Music, because I LOVE Music.
I suddenly got an insane amount of homework on Friday, 2 essays, a biology experiment write up, maths graded assessment and a presentation. All in on Monday or Tuesday, which sucks, because the weather is nice, and I have to sit inside and do my homework. :(

On the plus side, I got the Little Women DVD, which = LOVE. It's beautiful, and it's so nice to remember how it was all those months ago when we performed it, though it doesn't seem that long ago at all.
Today, I have decided to download some Wrock, because I love Harry Potter, I am going to have completed, one of my essays, my maths, my biology, and maybe some of my presentation, so wish me luck with all my work. I have nothing planned this weekend, so I suppose it's as good as any time to get some of the work load away!

Until next time.

Okay the internet just failed, good job blogger has AUTOSAVE! :)

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