One of the odd things about having a blog of one's own alongside writing freelance reviews and blogs for the Guardian is that occasionally you come up against these weird hiatuses (hiati?). Let me explain. Last Friday I saw The Wolves at the Window at the Arcola for Time Out. On Saturday I saw Troilus and Cressida.
On Sunday, well, on Sunday I went to a party at Sunday Times drama critic Robert Hewison's house which has nothing to do with this story, but which did irresistibly put me in mind of an alternative, altogether more pleasant narrative for The Common Pursuit - one of whose characters wants to be drama critic for the Sunday Times – this one set in a parallel Oxford-educated universe, rather than the Cambridge-based one in the play as it stands. Robert tells me he wasn't at all kind to the original when he saw it for the Sunday Times back in 1984. Sadly the Times's online archive doesn't stretch back far enough to find out *how* not kind. I did wonder, though, if Gray's legendary spat with another Sunday Times drama critic (and another former NSDF Judge), James Fenton, had anything to do with the character's genesis.
Anyway, getting back to the point: On Monday I filed my review for Wolves at the Window, posted my review of Troilus and Cressida here, sent a blog piece to the Guardian and went to see Topless Mum at the Tricycle Theatre for the Financial Times, wrote it up, and had filed by about midnight or so.
On Tuesday, the Guardian and I had a whole world of woes with our email connections with the net result that my blog piece didn't get anywhere near the Guardian, let alone the Blog. I posted another piece on here (originally intended for the Guardian, but superseded by time and circumstance) and then went to the Royal Court to see Mike Bartlett's new play Contractions for Time Out.
And this is where it gets strange; Friday's Time Out review came out yesterday, and can be found online here. The FT review is yet to be published, if at all. And last night's Time Out gig won't see the light of day until next Tuesday (although all Contractions reviews are embargoed until Thursday). Meanwhile, today my Guardian piece found its way online and can now be found here. All this has the net effect of making it look like I haven't seen any plays since Saturday, but have been jolly busy blogging.
None of this is a grumble, but it does make one lose one's sense of self a bit. I don't know if other critics find this, but often these days seeing a review I've written will remind me off a show I've seen, rather than remembering the show itself. Are there a finite number of performances one can hold in one's head? Does anyone else ever clear out old cupboards and come across stacks of old Edinburgh ticket stubs from years gone by and find themselves astonished by the number of hours they had managed to forget?
Speaking of Time Out, I should draw reader's (yes, singular) attention to this interview with the brilliant Chris Goode ahead of the opening of his incredibly exciting sounding deconstructed Three Sisters at the Gate.
Postcards... is going next Tuesday, when he seems to have managed to sandwich the performance with the launch of Sex Addict playwright Tim Fountain's new book launch and subsequent bash also in Notting Hill. An odd combination. Expect Postcards to be found seated somewhere at the back of aforementioned bash lost in a thoughtful artistic reverie while assorted swingers and, uh, doggers (doggists?) cavort around him, like some sort of H.M. Bateman cartoon of The Man Who Went to See a Chris Goode Show Before a Tim Fountain Party.