Friday, November 03, 2006

Head Banging Actors

There was a matinee at the ADC theatre at 2:30, so I decided to go. The ADC is literally 2 blocks from Westcott, and is the theatre where a lot of the Monty Python boys got their starts. Matinees are always fun because you get two shows for the price of one. The first being the onstage production, and the second being all the little old people trying explaining the play to each other. This theatre also has a pub where you can get a pint before the show, adding to the hilarity of the commentary as the little old ladies are snoggered after a few pints of Guinness.

In any event, the play was called Liberdad! and was sponsored by the European Association for Jewish Culture. As I am doing a paper on Bach's St John's Passion for the Jewish-Christian relations class I am in, I decided to go see it since I could get in for 4 pounds as a student. The play was an odd interpretation of Oliver Cromwell's relationship with the Jews and his trying to persuade parliament to allow the Jews to return to England after their expulsion some years before.

I have seen better acting, but I won't be too harsh considering these were acting students. The play itself I thought was a very powerful message of how awful the Church, especially the Anglican church, has treated the Jewish people historically. Given what I have been researching, it made sitting through the play all the more difficult.

I did get to see one of the more hilarious mishaps I have scenes in a theater, however. In one scene, a character was to rush in with some good news through this little door into the shop of Rabbi ben Israel in Italy. The actor was tall (being tall myself I completely sympathize because England is made for midgets) and accidently hit his head on the door frame. The "whack" could be heard all the way back in the student section. After a dazed second, the actor didn't miss a beat and made up an impromptu line about how Jewish doors were cursed if they didn't have a mezuza on the door post. During the curtain call at the end, he came out with a big gauzed up bandage on his head as a joke.

You have to love live theater.

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