More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)
Julia Bolden's play Alternate Slices, which premiered this evening at Cambridge's cosy Corpus Playroom (@corpusplayroom), runs until Saturday 28 July.
Cambridge was hot last night, but, in the intimate setting of @corpusplayroom (tickets via @adctheatre), the cast and crew of https://t.co/5K82dhu3i2 were hot in another way last night, in the premiere of Julia Bolden's Alternate Slices :— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) July 25, 2018
As brochures say, 'If you liked xyz...' pic.twitter.com/nU5pcHuaqi
If you prefer*, another new take on Mozart's K. 588, setting Da Ponte / premiered 228 years ago already (26 January) ?— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) July 25, 2018
* As you like it - or - What you will... since the full title includes an alternative title / reality / universe :
Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti pic.twitter.com/Ry4wcU5z1r
Without saying so, Julia Bolden deliberately evokes a tennis-court, and umpire's chair :
In Stoppard's remarkably unfunny film self-adaptation Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1990), the killer existential scene - when no one can remember which is which (others, and maybe we and they), in character, of Tim Roth and Gary Oldman - is on the tennis-court... pic.twitter.com/ZjNchZpbjY— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) July 28, 2018
Plays are fully as referential as films are expected (or wrongly uniquely imagined ?) to be¹, so Alternate Slices is suitably infused with other works of theatre, such as Michael Frayn’s masterly Copenhagen, Christopher Hampton’s Treats, Stoppard’s Arcadia or The Real Thing, or Ian Rickson's fascinating production(s) of Pinter's Betrayal and Old Times². [Which is to say that, with the last of these, #UCFF had 'to watch both ways'³, i.e. with KST (Kristin Scott Thomas) as Kate and Lia Williams as Anna, then vice versa].
Yes, it does !— THE AGENT APSLEY (@THEAGENTAPSLEY) July 25, 2018
For those who already want to order their 'soul-mate' off the shelf, has this gone into production yet ? ;)
Those predecessor plays are named, in case they help to understand what to expect of the scope and nature of Bolden's prescribed and circumscribed universe, and by no means to daunt, but encourage, the general reader by introducing them as and for company⁴ - since they are not quite bed-fellows (except in that limited sense of ‘Ishmael’ and Queequeg in Moby Dick).
Steven Kitson (Matt), Ashley Harris (Nick), Jenny Scudamore (Finola)
Still, one might ask, why all this cleverness (from #UCFF) ? Well, for one, because the play itself talks about post-graduate life, so that is the other-worldly realm to which Matt, Finola and Nick still partly relate (because drawn to academically), when not having to plan how to go about decorating (filling, rather than painting (or even papering) over, the cracks), or kite-surfing at Hunstanton : do they, as some will claim that the phrase has it, Live in their heads still, and not [in amongst] the physicality of the world... ?
And yet, for example, although all three of Matt, Finola and Nick are very and almost equally talkative, superficially covering - when not spikily alluding to - their common hurts and gripes (passing hints of Sartre and Huis clos ?), does Matt riff a little on the more morbid / saturnine parts of Deeley in Old Times, and Nick on his ostensibly more gregarious Pinteresque cover-up for envy, menace, and unacknowledged fear / insecurity ?
Pinter's play, of course, is a man and two women³, and vying - as if it is a final battle - for whose relationship with whom is rooted in the least assailable memory, which Alternate Slices arguably may not (or may ?) be found to be... ?
Which is where, to be a first-night review that might be seen by a second-night audience (and the rule of thumb, of course, is that the teething problems of opening night have been [insert whatever continues the analogy / metaphor] and the show is even better, this attempt has to end...
¹ Those whose milieu is as much cinematic as theatrical may not only find possibilities here for a screenplay (as already mentioned, in passing, to Julia Bolden afterwards), but also such film-references useful as - in no particular order – Sliding Doors (1998), About Time (2013) [NB Richard Curtis cannot 'do' time-travel], Lola rennt (Run, Lola, Run) (1998) [the link is to the IMDb web-page for the film]...
² And maybe, momentarily, Beckettt's Play ?
³ Although playing it both ways, where KST was Kate half the time (and even on the throw of a coin, for some performances), brought out both what Lia Williams and she were bringing to each role, and how that made Rufus Sewell, in each of their equivalent Deeleys, necessarily different and so not static either, even at the level of how the stage-business was blocked.
⁴ Thinking as much of Sondheim’s Company, as Bekettt’s late prose masterpiece of the same name.
⁵ NB Embedded links (below) are for illustrative purposes only, and not paid or any promotion, endorsement or recommendation of goods and / or services referred to therein or thereby :
You might lay bets, handle cancelled bookings and make them available again, or work as an ethically sourced wedding-planner – but living with uncertainty is part of the territory ~ McLuhan (paraphrasing Barthes)
Swap dinner plates for dignity kits with ActionAid’s alternative #giftlist. Spread the love and find out more about how your #weddinglist can change lives, for good. 💍 💕 https://t.co/aMYM9tnFO8 pic.twitter.com/3PzgH2lFco— ActionAid UK (@ActionAidUK) July 26, 2018
If you want to Tweet, Tweet away here
Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)