Thursday, November 30, 2006

Strange Coincidences

I was at Hampstead Theatre on Tuesday night for the opening of Ryan Craig’s (of What We Did To Weinstein notoriety) new play The Glass Room. The play was about a human right lawyer with Jewish roots who takes on the case of holocaust-denying historian. The issues were pertinent and some of the arguments powerful, but the play itself was rather sloppily constructed, relying too heavily on narrative contrivance and characters that just didn’t ring true. For every gripping exchange of dialogue there was a scene of such awkwardness it was impossible to excuse (most obviously the scene when Sian Thomas, the icy academic at the heart of the case, lets her mask slip to reveal her rabid anti-Semitism). Having said that the play succeeded in making me laugh and making me think, but its plot holes and dramatic failings were too large to ignore.

It did lead to one of those odd coincidences that happens sometimes in London. I was walked past an oddly familiar man in the street yesterday, on one of my lunchtime wanderings through Soho, and was forced to do one of those slo-mo double-takes people only do in films. I was staring at him for a good minute or so as I tried to figure out whether we’d been at school together or met at university when I realised he was actually the chap who played Myles the lawyer in the play the night before. Then after I’d stood gawping at him for a while in what was probably a quite intense and scary fashion, we ended up walking down the street in the same direction. Poor sod probably thinks he has a stalker now…

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