Friday, February 02, 2007

BRISTOL

BRISTOL

Aside

Me:   Why are bosoms called Bristols
MTL:  Because there is a Bristol milk sherry.

There are some very attractive parts of Bristol but we were dropped outside the Hippodrome Theatre and walked to The Bristol Old Vic so the snaps are informative rather than lyrical.  Clifton Suspension Bridge – designed by Brunel is an exception and I always look forward to seeing it on the way in and out of Bristol.  One of the West News TV programmes has a fantastic shot of Concorde flying over the bridge.

We were going to see a matinee ‘Ghosts’ by Henrik Ibsen ( or Henry Gibson if you remember ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In’)  The play started at 2pm so it was almost time for lunch.  We had a coffee in the BOV café and I asked a man who looked as if he belonged if I could possible take a photo of the auditorium whilst the theatre was empty.  He very sweetly went to get a key to unlock the padlocks (health and safety), let me in, but asked me not to take the set as it was copyright.  So I took it with my back to the stage.

For the first time in that area, we found somewhere good for lunch – a fish restaurant, Loch Fyne where they had a bargain theatre lunch – two courses and a side dish for £10.  Bread was thrown in and we paid for wine (linen napkins were an added bonus). The two courses are meant to be a starter and a main but it was my lucky day and I was allowed a main and a pud.  Fortified we had coffee in the theatre – at least I did – an espresso as I tend to nod off after wine at lunch.

There has been a bit of a hoo ha about the adaptation of ‘Ghosts’ by   Frank McGuiness who has modernised the text by inserting some contemporary four letter words.  I thought this was daft in a period setting with period costume but in fact one hardly noticed it.  I don’t know the original text but was dissatisfied with the ending which didn’t ring true to me.  It is a tragic tale –sins of the father’s being visited on the children – syphilis in fact, the tragedy is dissipated by the ridiculous posturing of two of the characters; Pastor Manders and Engstrand. There was a great deal of Victorian hypocrisy and I was reminded of Hedda Gabler- also one of Ibsen’s plays.

Manders was played by Simon Shepherd who recently had the awful experience of being dropped from ‘The Sound of Music’. The actors did a good job; it was the writing which failed to move me.  Could have been an off day – could have been me.
This isn’t a serious crit – just my impressions.
All things considered it was an enjoyable day.

29 comments:

Z said...

There's a Loch Fyne restaurant in Norwich too, I've only eaten there once but I remember it as very good but expensive. Maybe I dined a la carte.

Was Henry Gibson the small deadpan chap who read out doggerel he'd written himself. The pun passed me by at the time, took me years to catch on and then, somehow, it popped into my mind and clicked.

I've never seen 'Ghosts'. Maybe I never will...

PI said...

z: thst's him exactly. Wonder whatever happened to them all - except Goldie Hawn. Sorry to be luke warm (actually I was quite cross)and I really empathised with 'The Dolls House'.

apprentice said...

Sorry about the play, disappointing to go all that way for something you didn't enjoy.

I loved you cartoon BTW.

PI said...

Thanks apprentice. You'll think I'm nuts but I can enjoy not enjoying something - a matter for debate. A day out's a day out. (Poor old soul!)

R. Sherman said...

I always found I need a stiff drink or two or five after reading anything Ibsen wrote. In real life, he must have been a huge pain in the rump.

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: I suspect you are tight:)

john.g. said...

Pat, you sound like you enjoyed the weekend, good for you. Nice pics, and welcome back.

PI said...

I did enjoy it john.g. The pix could have been better.

Justin said...

I've never seen any of Ibsen's stuff performed, but I did get a chance to read A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler about a year ago. A Doll's House is still one of my favorite plays that I've read.

I just checked, and I noticed that Ghosts is in that collection of plays by Ibsen that I have. I might have to read it sometime.

Here from Michele's!

PI said...

Hi Justin! I'm full of admiration. If you read Ghosts or see it, do let me know what you think of it.

SP said...

Ooh, do those Ibsen plays bring back a lot of memories from highschool. And then I realized that it's been a little over 30 years since I was IN highschool.

But I will just soak up the British culture. Hubby is from London so I enjoyed the bit about the food. That's all we seem to do when we go over lol...

PI said...

Hi SP: time flies when yoo're having fun:)

R. Sherman said...

Ummm.

Dear, did you mean "tight" as in drunk, a la Hemingway?

I mean, I was in my office taking a break and it wasn't what we call "Beer Thirty," yet.

Cheers.

Dandelion said...

I thought it was a cockney rhyming slang, after the football team Bristol City. Don't know where I got that idea.

PI said...

Randall; What a hoot! For 'tight' read 'right'. Sorry aboout that:)

dandelion: I exoect there are various interpretations; that's the one MTL gave.

Mr. Althouse said...

I love the photos, especially inside the theatre. Sounds like a great day...

Michele sent me,

Mike

PI said...

Thanks Mike!

Nick said...

Hello, it's been a long while.

I'm glad you enjoyed it (the play, I mean) - but I have to confess I've never been able to get on with Mr Ibsen; he's far too nordic for my taste. Whenever I've been to the part of the world he called home I've always come away with the firm conviction that human beings simply aren't meant to live that far north. All that cold and snow and darkness makes them by turns manic and depressive - and constantly and boringly preachy. Just like Mr Ibsen in fact.

Nick said...

Oh dear, I'm going senile. I meant to start my comment "Sorry you didn't enjoy....I too can't get on with Mr Ibsen..." but somewhere between my brain and fingers a circuit fused. Sorry about that.

Nick said...

Oh dear, I'm going senile. I meant to start my comment "Sorry you didn't enjoy....I too can't get on with Mr Ibsen..." but somewhere between my brain and fingers a circuit fused. Sorry about that.

PI said...

Nick: Hi! Don't worry - join the club and I'm glad it wasn't just me that felt the same way about, at least, some of Ibsen's work. And don't be a stranger:)

Foster Dogs said...

Oooh, beautiful pictures! Here via Michele's.

PI said...

Welcome foster dogs and thank you.

margalit said...

Oh wow, Ibsen. Way over my head, methinks. But it sounds like a lovely day. And I hope at least it was warmer than here, where we're freezing.

Here via Michele

PI said...

Hi margalit - it was a lovely day but very grey weather wise. Today's been bright sunny and cold for us. Hope you warm up soon.

panthergirl said...

I always laughed at the name "Henry Gibson" on Laugh-In...it's so great when a show will make jokes that they KNOW only a fraction of viewers will get.

Here via michele today!

PI said...

Hi panther girl. Wonder if you can remember the name of the English girl in that show. We can't!

Begered said...

Even thought the play wasn't as good as you exected...it still sounded like you had a good day.
You found a good place to eat lunch and drive through a cool suspension bridge.
I always try to find the positives in all my negative experiences. :)

Michele sent me!

PI said...

Welcome Begered : quite right - you're a long time dead.