Monday, September 25, 2006

Voyage to the West End

Another West End transfer on Thursday, this time the Donmar's production of John Mortimer's A Voyage Round My Father. The play is an entertaining and affectionate study of Mortimer's own father, a successful barrister, blinded in middle age. Derek Jacobi plays the main role and it's as superb a performnace as you expect: charismatic, powerful, yet not without vulnerability. Yet the play is a very soft-centred affair, which imparts no real insight into what made the man tick. He remains something of a 'character,' a collection of quirky habits, not really a man you ever understand.

Jeins and I were sitting next to Mortimer himself throughout the play and various people kept coming over to pay their respects. As did Dominic Rowan, during the curtain call. It made the production that much more moving, the awareness that this wasn't just a series of comic scenes but a very personal piece written by the man sitting besides us. I just wish what was happening on stage could have supplied that extra emotional kick on its own.

The following night I had the Gin Soaked Boy over for dinner - there was meant to be more people but it all fell apart at the last minute - and got hopelessly tipsy, subjecting the man, I suspect, to a lot of finger-jabbing and general ranting. Ah well, while I would rather I had not got quite so specatcularly inebriated, the bits of the evening I remember were great fun! Cooking is so much more enjoyable when done with someone else.

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