Sunday, 15 April 2012

Streetcar Heading to Edinburgh

Streetcar Named Desire

I was saying it on twitter over the weekend, but I've had a proper westend Partick Thistle fan couple of days. The highlight was going to the Theatre Royal last night with my son. Yes, Edinburgh will finally have a streetcar/ tram, call it what you will, because Scottish Ballet are heading there next week with their new dance production of the Tennessee Wiliams play "A Streetcar Named Desire".


I've never seen the story staged as a play and it is many, many years since I've seen the iconic film version starring Marlon Brando. The ballet tells the story chronologically and therefore manages to show some of the things alluded to in the play/film and the score, the set design, the acting of the dancers all tell the story beautifully. It is powerful stuff in places, dealing with death, violence, alcohol, addiction, domestic violence, madness, and amazing to think the play was written 65 years ago. It works really well as a ballet and is one of the best ballets that I have seen in a long time. I am glad to see that it is garnering great reviews and I hope that as many people as possible get to see it. My son came with me, and although he is only 12 years old, the way the ballet presented the themes we were able to go over it and discuss the issues afterwards (including rape and the effects of domestic violence) but it is not really a ballet for taking younger children too. Anyway, it is a long time since I can remember a ballet audience cheering and wooping at that end as they did last night.

Partick Thistle 1-1 Raith Rovers


Earlier that day I'd watched Partick Thistle's season peter out at Firhill as they clung on for a draw against a decidedly ordinary Raith Rovers team. Although Thistle can play decent football, it is too inconsistent. We struggle to breakthrough against 10 men defending, and are very shakey at the back when others run at us. Saved by Fox and the post in the last seconds, when that should have been 3 points in the bag. Anyway, at least Thistle got a point. Combining their score with the 2 English teams that I follow meant that my teams lost 12-3 over the weekend and my horse didn't finish the National.

Le Havre

My Westend luvvie weekend had started on Friday with a jaunt to the Glasgow Film Theatre. I always forget to check out their programme properly until the film I've wanted to see has passed 2 weeks previously, but I did manage to see Le Havre before its run was over. Aki Kaurismäki's fable of an African illegal immigrant arriving in the French port and being looked after by the ordinary characters of the town, pursued by the police inspector who has seen it all.


I loved the strange 70's feel that the whole film had despite the present day setting, the ordinary looking actors and generous, benign characters.

One more thing before I leave Le Havre. I watched the film thinking that André Wilms, who plays the lead character, bohemian shoeshine Marcel Marx, was doing an impersonation of my grandfather all the way through, both physically and in his mannerisms. Later I've found out that when my brother and cousin saw the film, they both separately had the same thought. You decide.

André Wilms and my grandad. Separated at birth?


After that, all there was to do was to play in the swingpark on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Glasgow (with hat and scarves on, obviously - it is only April). Warning: viewing video fullscreen may cause nausea.

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