I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue

Last night we went to see the 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' tour at Reading. This was a 'not for radio' show - probably best thought of as the 'Tim Brooke-Taylor retirement fund' (Humph isn't likely to retire!) As might be expected it was very entertaining (though, heretically, Mornington Crescent doesn't do it for me).

I loved Jeremy Hardy singing ('Thank you for the Music'... and as Abba fades out, Jeremy continues....), he also did one song to the tune of another - singing 'I tawt I taw a puddy tat' to... ack, can't recall. It may have been 'Jerusalem'.

In the 're-written nursery rhyme' round, Graham Garden managed a nice reference to Bill Oddie... it's frustrating. With comedy, I know if I enjoyed it, and at the time I think 'I'll remember that' - but within a minute the next few gags have come along and it all becomes a blur.

The perfect audience member for 'Clue'.

My favourite game had to be when the audience used the kazoo to play a song, and the panel had to guess. Hundreds of people trying to play 'Feelings' or 'I like to go a-wandering The Lonely Goatherd' was just chaos. (memory is such a fallible thing!)

The highlight of the evening, as always with 'Clue' was Humphrey Lyttleton. The man is a legend, with a sense of timing that's superb. After a hilarious stint by the panel, Humph will pause, say 'mmm' in a resigned way... and move on. The best bit of the show was the finale - after the kazoo and swannie-whistle round, Humphrey's trumpet came out, and we were treated to 'We'll meet again'. Accompanied of course, by kazoo and swannie-whistle.

After the show, I really wanted to wait by the stage door - mainly to meet Humphrey, but also to see the Goodies (sorry, Jeremy, Barry and Colin). Unfortunately we had a little drive to get home, and needed to get home safely with tiredness creeping up - so it wasn't to be.

Update: Post from someone else who was there


Last night we went to see Cats at Woking's New Victoria Theatre. We'd never seen Cats before - despite it being in the West End for many years. We were familiar with much of the music, as well as the book of poems by TS Eliot.

The first thing about Cats is that the plot is thin. Paper thin - but knowing the plot won't spoil the show for anyone, so I'll lay it out here.

The Jellicle cats have an annual ball, at which various cats are introduced (such as The Rum Tum Tugger and SkimbleShanks the Railway Cat). At the ball, Old Deuteronomy picks a cat to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn. Grizabella, and old and decrepit cat is chosen.

(The Heaviside layer is an atmospheric layer of ionised gas, about 90-150km up, used in the musical to symbolise death)

The musical frankly isn't about the plot. It's about the spectacular that is Cats, and it's very enjoyable. I particularly liked Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat - it gave me a big grin, as my cat is named for this cat (by the RSPCA). I also enjoyed Rum Tum Tugger and The Magical Mr. Mistoffeles, both big showstoppers, though some of the flashing pyrotechnics in Mr. Mistoffeles were so bright that they were uncomfortable.

Rum Tum Tugger in particular went down well with the audience, with the characters tendency to say 'look at me, aren't I fantastic?' every time he appeared on stage, even if just in the background. That man could strut.

Some of the supporting cats were simply excellent, ooziing cattiness. There was one woman, a ginger and black striped cat on a white body who really let loose, and just captured the eye (she reminded me vaguely of a young Lulu, made up as a cat) - she just seemed to be really in the moment. She's (currently) shown on the second image on the introductory page from Lloyd Webber. On the other hand the actress playing the white cat, though very good, did appear to relax a little too much when not centre stage. A few times when she was away from the focus of the audience her face dropped and she just looked bored. I think she had a bit of a cold, which can't have helped.

For me, the only real disappointment is the famous 'Memory', it's not from TS Eliot (though Grizabella is a TS Eliot creation) - and to me it sticks out like a sore thumb - it somehow doesn't 'fit' with the rest of the show. It's the only thing giving the show structure though - otherwise it'd be just a series of cats being introduced - but I wouldn't have minded that too much.

It seems that I was in the minority on this, it got one of the biggest rounds of applause (superceded by Rum Tum Tugger and possibly Mistoffelees).

The Car Man

Last night we went to see The Car Man at Sadlers Wells in Islington (on the way seeing a Banksy) The piece uses Bizet's music, but doesn't follow the plot of Carmen. It's set in the mid-west, and tells the story of a garage (car-man... gettit?) An odd-job man comes to town, and has his way with the owner's wife... and also one of the guys who works in the garage.

The owner discovers his wife and the new bloke in flagrante, and ends up being killed in the ensuing struggle. The chap who works in the garage is blamed for the crime.

There's more to it than that, it's really hard to explain a dance piece...

There are some really comic moments, and some great set-piece dances - the introduction of the odd-job guy is astounding, he dominates the stage. The guy who works in the garage has an admirer, and they work well together.

As the Independent says:

The best dance inspiration comes in the solo numbers, including a tour de force for Alan Vincent's Brando-esque stranger, wheeling off tables and chairs while swigging beer and wagging his bum to Bizet's famous "Seguidilla", landing back in his seat on the triumphant final chord as the waitress plonks down the food. Another highlight is the randy dance for Meazza's Lana, slapping the floor in her waitress pinny like Barbarella on Viagra.

It's also a little cheeky - in a way that is more likely to please the ladies, with a shower scene at the end of a sweaty working day.

In the second act, the action starts in a local nightclub (with what looks like an avant-garde cabaret act - which is quite funny). One of the chaps with a little bohemian goatie reminded me of 'Going Live' with some of the characters of 'Trevor and Simon'. The nightclub didn't really 'fit' the location, but it didn't matter - the set doubled as a gaol, and by changing the lighting moved from one to the other smoothly.

It's a good little show, and I haven't explained it well. Catch it if you can.

As is often the case with opera, ballet and dance, they milked the applause way too much for my tolerance. First the general claps for end of show, then the claps for each individual or each pair, then the line up, then the conductor, then the conductor with the lineup, then the lineup again.....

I'd agree with the Times review in every respect, which said:

In Bourne's tight and lucid scenario the action is set in a down-at-heel garage-diner in a sleepy Midwestern American hamlet (Harmony, pop 375) in the early 1960s. Lana, wife of the garage's owner, and her lover, the drifter Luca, kill her husband Dino and set up the hired help Angelo to take the rap. In the second half, the guilty lovers start to fall apart (and fall out) while the wronged man seeks a bitter and violent revenge. Bourne even adds a bisexual twist to his tale in the person of Luca.

Part film noir and part Grand-Guignol horror – with a dollop of Carry On-style humour – The Car Man reveals a wealth of references (both filmic and balletic) as it tries to play both sides of the comedy-tragedy divide. Sometimes it works startlingly well, at others the jokes (especially those involving the husband) diminish the drama.

The husband as a character was a weak spot. That said, the rest of the production is pretty good, and worth seeing.

The Car Man is touring in the UK, and it has yet to visit The Milton Keynes Theatre, Theatre Royal in Glasgow, Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, New Wimbledon Theatre, Regent Theatre in Stoke, Theatre Royal in Newcastle, New Victoria Theatre in Woking, His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen, Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, The Lowry in Salford and Birmingham Hippodrome (second source of tour information)

A Sleeping Beauty Tale

Last night we went to see The Northern Ballet's 'A Sleeping Beauty Tale', with music by Tchaikovsky. Obviously it was based upon the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. This is Tchaikovsky's ballet re-imagined as a story of the people of the red and blue planets. There are spacecraft (I kid you not) and at one point, laser guns.

I recognised several of the dancers from The Three Musketeers, but it didn't really have the same energy as that excellent production. The thing seemed to plod a little. There was an opening introductory speech, followed by several minutes of curtain down whilst they did things to scenery.

The main set seemed to be in a tunnel, the flats were cut circularly. The concentric rings tended to make me think 'Tha.. tha.. that... that's all, folks!', which I don't think was the intended effect.

The entrance of the main dancer was good, she was revealed to be inside a golden ball. The cover was removed to reveal a plastic sphere with her inside. I'm amazed she didn't cramp, it was a tiny ball! Her 'first steps' were well done too, quite comic, but she was soon pirouetting and leaping with everyone else.

The 'revamp' doesn't really work for me. Tchaikovsky? Spaceships? I'm not saying this as someone who's precious about the ballet, I'm not, I just didn't think it worked. There was one guy (from the 'red planet' who reminded me of a Babylon 5 Centauri.

Essentially, the ballet followed the same structure as the classic, but instead of a spinning wheel, the princess is stabbed by a red and put into a hibernation. In the meantime the planet is ransacked by reds. This continues until Aurora is roused.

The third act dragged on somewhat, it essentially consisted of the reds slaughtering the blues, a couple of blues looking for the beauty, the red-leader (make up your own Star Wars jokes) chasing them. There was a bit of dancing around and red-leader didn't make it (he didn't die by impacting the surface). The beauty (Aurora) and a blue got it together.

As is often the case with ballet, the curtain call went on for way too long.

After The Three Musketeers, there was a high bar to clear, and for me, this fell short.

Monkey: The Opera

People of 'a certain age' will remember 'Monkey', a Japanese import of a Chinese fable.

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett (of Gorillaz) are involved in making Monkey, the Opera. Along with Chen Shi-Zheng, the director, they're going back to the Chinese source material to produce a spectacle which premier's in Manchester.

The show contains talented, and very bendy, people:

"One girl bent herself into a Z-shape. She could feed herself a sandwich with her feet."

(The Guardian)

I'd love to see this, I do hope it tours beyond Manchester!

Last year I posted that there would be a remake of the TV show.

One Man Star Wars

We've just returned from seeing One Man Star Wars Trilogy with Charles Ross (he also does the One Man Lord of the Rings, which he's currently not allowed to tour in the UK, presumably due to the musical). The warm up at the start of the show was a guy called Matthew Reed, he was amusing enough and raised a few chuckles. He wasn't laugh out loud funny though. His stint was about 20 minutes, and then a break of about 15 minutes (we'd only just settled in!)... and the main event.

We didn't know what to expect... Well, we did... we expected One Man Star Wars (the clue is in the title). What we didn't know was, frankly, if it'd be much cop. We were pleasantly surprised. He does each of the three films in the original trilogy (not the prequels) in 20 minutes each, with most of the major plot points present. There are even the opening lion's roar and the scrolling text (okay, you have to imagine the actual text).

I won't recount the details, as if you've seen the films, you know the plot. As we left I overheard one woman saying 'I didn't really know what was happening'. Unsurprising, you're not going to understand the parody without at least some familiarity with the thing being parodied!

His rendition is hilarious. C3P0 was very well done, and Luke was uniformly presented as whiny, which hit the nail on the head. Not every word uttered was directly from the film (Luke's last line of 'Jedi' was very amusing, as was Han's reaction to Leia's revelation at the end of 'Jedi').

Chewbacca's reaction at the medal ceremony at the end of 'A New Hope' was very funny, and echoed what I've thought each time I've seen that scene.

Yoda was very well observed, the physicality with Yoda's (imaginary) cane was spot on.

For me, the best parts were the appearance of some of the minor characters. The thug in the bar who abuses Luke ('He doesn't like you..... I don't like you either') was very well done. Admiral Ackbar was good too, and reminded me of Columbo.

The battle to blow up the Death Star, with the visual representation of the various ships was good - we could instantly distinguish an X-wing from a Y-wing from a Tie Fighter.

A good night out, but it's not one for those rare people who aren't familiar with the films. The show is touring in the UK until mid-July. For one night at each venue it will visit Kings Lynn, Canterbury, Bradford, Newcastle, Nottingham, Northampton, Cardiff, Leicester, Cheltenham, Lichfield, Salford, Reading, Poole, London (for 7 nights), Durham and Lincoln. It ends its tour in Lincoln on the 12th July.

Oh, one thing.... there are StormTroopers at the Theatre. If you want a photo, go early and bring a camera. I didn't have mine.

Other Reviews: Christina on Myspace, Daily Vodcast, The Loy and a Video Clip via Chris Drummer and a podcast interview from iscifi


I previously mentioned that we'd been to see Evita. It occurred to me that I didn't write anything detailed before now. Why not, I wonder? I think it was a combination of two factors. Firstly, it was closing, and so there would be very few people left who might be deciding whether to buy tickets. Secondly, I just felt disappointed.

Evita is one of those things that I'd long been aware of, but had never had any contact with (apart from the odd breakout song). It had somehow become one of 'those' things that had got built up beyond what it actually was - and frankly - it wasn't that good.

I don't quite know why, I really don't, it had all the ingredients, the Argentine actress playing Evita was stunning and the support were good, but still, it just didn't work for me.

I think it was something to do with the plot device of the 'on stage narrator'. The actor in that role did what was asked of him, make no mistake, but I didn't much like what he was being asked to do. It felt like Lloyd Webber at his most clichéd - and I do like some of his other stuff (well, okay, I liked 'Phantom').

The thing has closed now, so I'll not say any more.

Fiddler on the Roof

The Savoy Hotel, LondonWith the wife on a business trip, I took myself off to see 'Fiddler on the Roof' at the Savoy Theatre today. Whilst I've seen the film (which in turn was based on the show) - I'm not that familiar with it, and so it was as a new show to me. And what a Show.

The staging was simple, yet effective, with one central piece of scenery which was reused in many ways. Tevye (the role made famous by Zero Mostel, and later by Topol) was played by Henry Goodman, and he was the perfect Tevye, just the right amount of Yiddish charm... oh vey!

The show opens with a big number, 'Tradition' and carries on with a good mix of humour, music and tragedy. The famous 'If I were a Rich Man' is dispensed with in the second scene, with great relish by the leading man.

My favourite scenes were all probably in the first act - the second act is darker. I loved the wedding scenes, the arguments between Tevye and Lazar Wolf and the dancing was great. You can't go wrong with a bit of cossack thrown in! I also loved the Inn scene, where Lazar Wolf and Tevye have a misunderstanding about a meeting.

In the more tender moments, I would pick out Tevye and Golde's duet, 'Do You Love Me', which Henry Goodman (who looks nothing like his programme photo) injects with some lovely humorous touches.

Miriam Elwell-Sutton, who was understudying for Tzeitel was very good indeed, as was Alexandra Silber and Natasha Broomfield (Hodel and Chava). Simon Delaney's Tom Lorcan's 'Motel' was very well pitched, I thought. He had a lovely sequence with Tevye, when he asks Tevye not to shout at him.

The flavour of the piece is maintained throughout, and the curtain call is done in the style of a yiddish dance, a lovely touch.

Comparing this to Lord of the Rings, which I saw on Thursday.... the Lord of the Rings has more of a 'wow' factor, but 'Fiddler on the Roof' is just so damned enjoyable, I'd say this is out in front by some margin.

I'd be interested to hear if you've seen this show, and have any thoughts upon it, if you're considering going (perhaps based on this post), or even if this post has put you off!

Lord of the Rings (Musical)

Before I launch into this, please note that it's 1am, and I apologise for any typos or poorly phrased things. When I first heard that they were doing The Lord of the Rings as a musical, my first reaction was one of wry amusement, surely it wouldn't transfer?

When I heard about the actual performances in Toronto, these impressions seemed to be confirmed, and so when it came to London I wasn't too keen.

However, I'd read that they learned from Toronto, and tightened things up a bit - and so on a whim I took myself into London to see the show.

It's good. It's very good.

It's not 'Lord of the Rings' complete, but the major highlights are there. For example, the Rider of Rohan don't appear at all, nor do the elephaunts or the army of the dead, but the Ents do, as does Shelob, Saruman, the Black Riders, the Elves, Moria and others.

The set spreads into the theatre, with branches covering the boxes, and the stage itself is absolutely chock full of hydraulics - sections rise and fall, and the whole thing spins.

There are several points which were simply incredibly well done. Firstly there was the ring disappearances. Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday is a great application of Physics - it's a variant on Pepper's ghost. It'll leave some people in amazement.

The disappearance in the prancing pony was astounding, though possibly mainly due to my inattention. I was expecting a cheat with the stage lights (but that wasn't it) - one minute Frodo was there, and the next he wasn't. Now, I may have blinked and missed it - in fact I know I did, as I don't know how that was done. Frodo's disappearance it was very swift (he probably just merged with some people moving cross stage) - but it was very smooth.

The first real appearance of Gollum, at the start of act 2 was the perfect entrance. A really good piece of stage engineering. The black riders were very effective too... Shelob and the Balrog also made an appearance. Some smaller audience members will have nightmares about Shelob.

I liked the rendering of the orcs, where can I have a go on some of those bouncy stilts?

Large sections of the book are removed, I think this won't disadvantage anyone unfamiliar with the material (indeed, it is probably more problematic for those familiar, as they're more likely to be thinking 'that bit should be next... where was it?') It'll annoy people who are 'precious' about the book, but for everyone else, it's good. The stage show restores the 'in one bound he was free' escape from Saruman by Gandalf (I know it gets filled in later in the book - but in the film the filling in is pretty quick, and I think that's better for live action).

Tom Bombadil doesn't appear (yay!) though he does get a mention.

The music is actually well done, this could have easily been handled badly. There's a nice duet with Sam and Frodo which was getting a bit too slushy for me - and then Gollum subverts it. Nice.

Opening night isn't for a few weeks yet, these are the previews, so there's still a few things to iron out, for example, when Gandalf knocks on the door of Bag End, he really does need to ensure he doesn't knock the door right open. Also the Bag End set is a bit wobbly. There were a few other little foibles, some on stage, some technical (e.g. during a quiet bit, there was a yellow flash above the stage which was out of place). There was a bit of a mishmash of accents, which could be offputting, and the elves (especially Arwen and Galadrial) kept doing weird jerky things with their hands, not continuously, but from time to time.

These were minor points, in an otherwise excellent production - and it is still in previews, with one of the main actors currently with an injured leg after an accident last week.

Generally, it was very good, and I could really see where the millions were spent!

Tip: There is one full interval, the second interval is a pause, you have only a couple of minutes. Things start on stage 15 minutes before curtain.

Finally. I'd like to remind you of the opening sentence....

Blue Man Group

Tonight, we went to see the Blue Man Group in London. It is closing down this month (on the 24th) and so it was a case of 'now or never' (assuming they don't tour it!) It really is a great show. Very funny, hard to explain. Very visual. Very weird. We were sitting in the second row (plastic ponchos were provided, but not needed).

I came very close to catching a marshmallow in my mouth, but these guys can play 'chubby bunnies' at 10 paces (they can, honestly!)

It's a phenomenal show, great percussion, great visuals. Very funny too. There was a lovely bit with waste pipes that was very inventive, and I loved the drumming with the coloured liquids.

I want to go again!

If you can get to see it, you really should take the opportunity.

Monica meets a Blue Man

The Producers

Last night we went to see The Producers (UK) (US tour) (The Stage info). This was an excellent show, and for sheer entertainment was one of the best things I've seen in a while.

The Leo Bloom character was Joe Pasquale, and Max Bialystock was Cory English (though to be honest I wouldn't have known if it were an understudy). Both were excellent. I was worried about Pasquale squeaking his way through the piece, but he can go deeper if he needs, so it worked well.

The pair worked well together, and had little nods to the audience when needed, for example, Bialystock through a large sheet of paper across the stage, which drifted and landed in the waste paper bin.... the audience cheered. He acknowledged it, looked amazed and asked 'shall we put the fourth wall back up?' before carrying on with the number - he pitched it exactly right.

The playwright was excellent, and his pigeons were choreographed very well.

The star turn had to be Russ Abbot, who was excellent. Honestly. Russ Abbot played the director of the play. His entrance was very well handled, spectacular one might say. He carried off his dress that looked like the Chrysler Building with applomb. He also has what is my favourite line in the piece, the one about 'the singing Hitlers over to the left, and the dancing Hitlers to the right, please'.

The major set-piece was the actual staging of 'Springtime for Hitler'. This they handled beautifully.

Goose-stepping chorus-girls? check. Smarmy looking guy dressed in black singing the lead? check. Big mirror over the stage for the dance routine? check.

I was wondering how they'd manage the 'signature' routine, would they have enough people? The answer was no, but it didn't matter - they got around it in such an elegant way (think of what the PoWs did to avoid the Germans picking up on an escape, i.e. having a dummy in place of a prisoner). Essentially each dancer stook in a contraption flanked by two dummies, they then controlled the legs of the two dummies allowing them to 'march' in formation. It worked, it really did.

The Producers is something that is worth seeing, we came out with big grins.

For those unfamiliar with 'The Producers', it should be mentioned that the show is about making a bad-taste show in order to try and produce a flop - so it's not about glorifying Hitler and his ilk. At one point the playwright complains 'you've made Hitler look stupid', to which the Russ Abbot character said 'he didn't need our help'.

Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House

The Floral Hall in the Royal Opera HouseYesterday evening we went to see Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House in London. For those unfamiliar with the story, a travelling American (Ben Franklin Pinkerton) is visiting Japan, and marries a young girl of 15, a Geisha. This is Madama Butterfly. She dotes on him, changing religion and as a result is disowned by her family. He leaves Japan to travel, and she lives on waiting for his return. She has his child in the meantime.

Pinkerton returns with a new wife (according to the script, a wife disowned is a wife divorced), and wants to take the child away to give him a better life.

Butterfly is distressed, gives up the child and commits suicide.

The staging seemed a little shoddy to me, especially for the Royal Opera house. For example, there were problems with the scenery (a sliding door got stuck). Also when people were at the rear of the stage, behind the Japanese house, the set would block the view for those of us in the Ampitheatre (i.e. not quite the cheap seats, but definitely not the posh seats).

The set was simple, a single room with paper walls which could slide open, and at times these appeared to be moved in quite haphazard ways, which could distract from what was going on.

The plot, like most Opera and Ballet, was simple, so much so that sometimes I found myself thinking 'get on with it!' - and they really do like to milk the curtain calls.

The singing was good, though could sometimes be on the quiet side, overwhelmed by the orchestra. We found 'Butterfly' to be rather slow, though we had previously seen 'Carmen', so maybe that explains it (Carmen was a great production).

The surtitles were perhaps unnecessary for the basic plot, though they did provide amusement as some of the lyrics are banal in the extreme, for example, the opening is all about the wonders of Japanese interior decorating (paper walls).

Overall, the thing was enjoyable, but we didn't find it to be fantastic.

For the walk back to the train station (Waterloo) we had to endure the gauntlet of the Lyceum theatre at chucking out time, the 'Lion King' always seems to finish just as we return from Covent Garden!

The London Eye and ParliamentWe did get some really nice views over the Thames as we walked back.

The London Eye is lit up with red at the moment, and to the east we had good views toward St. Paul's and the City. The National theatre was also looking particularly purple.


Last night we went to see 'Carmen' at the Royal Opera House. It's a great little opera (sung in French), starting with the music to that Weird Al Yankovic track, 'The Beer Song':

Oh... what is the malt and liquor?
What gets you drunken quicker?
What comes in bottles or in cans? (Beer)

(What.... that was a cover? Really?)

It was really great, sumptuous music, the woman playing Carmen really had that classical stereotypical spanish wenchy type of swing to her, the toreadors were fun too.

At the interval we went out on the balcony, for a view over Covent Garden. It was about 8:40pm, but it was still surprisingly empty for the last friday before the 25th December.

Carousel in Covent Garden

However, as we left at the end of the evening with both the Royal Opera House and the theatre where the Lion King is playing disgorging their audiences it soon felt busy!

The plot of Carmen is rather basic, and perhaps a little disjointed at times - though it's easy enough to follow (surtitles were provided). It was amusing in the first act to have a great big long piece singing the praises of the tobacco workers and cigarettes in general!

Dans l'air nous suivons des yeux,
La fumée,
La fumée,
Qui vers les cieux,
Monte, monte parfumé
Cela mongentiment, A la tête, à la tête.
Tout doucement, Cela vous met l'â me'en fête!
Le doux parler, le doux parler des amants, c'est fumée!

'Toreador' was a good section, and had us tapping out feet along with the music.

Toréador en garde! Toréador! Toréador!
Et songe bien, oui, songe en combatant, Un oeil noir te regar---de!
Et que l'amour t'attend, Toréador!
L'amour, l'amour t'attend.

I wasn't able to follow all of the French (heck, if it had been sung in English I wouldn't have followed it all - I tend to find sung lyrics really hard to follow, thankfully most songs have lots of redundancy) - but I had a good stab at it. I glanced at the surtitles as we went through to be sure I wasn't getting lost - the surtitles were done pretty sympathetically, I thought. Not updating on every line (especially where lines were repeated, and the meaning was already clear).

A nice evening out.... and as always the Royal Opera House itself was a stunning piece of architecture.

Rambert Dance Company

Last night, Monica and I went to see The Rambert Dance Company at Woking. When I say the word, 'see' I used that advisably. Monica says it was good. I'm afraid to say that I fell asleep, it's been a long week.

I did see bits of it though, it was pretty, it was athletic, but it was all about the movement; There was no overriding narrative but there were narrative elements. For example, in Lady into Fox', we see members of the hunt at a party. The hostess turns into a fox. The husband is concerned by this, understandably. She's then hunted.

I think the three pieces we saw were 'Stand and Stare', 'Lady into Fox' and 'Constant Speed'.

Whilst I really enjoyed seeing the Northern Ballet and the Bolshoi, the Rambert didn't keep my attention - as evidenced by my snooziness. The audience did give it a big round of applause at the end - which woke me up.

I feel like such a philistine!