And just like that, it’s been ten days since I went back home and a week since I got back to my hovel.
It was a packed itinerary all right, but the essentials were addressed — grandma, check; LLP pre-post-natal, check; MN + family, check; maman, papa, petit frère, check check check; Ian McKellen — LIVE! — nearly not quite checked!!!
You see, due to a wacky confluence of workaday events and inimitable characteristics, the tickets did not materialise till moments after the Esplanade began closing its doors on the event I had been aching for (McKellen as King Lear — LIVE!). So for a good thirty minutes before I stumbled, mildly cussing and profusely gasping, up to Circle 3, I found myself clinging desperately to a steel pillar as I waited, wild-eyed, for the ticket bearer. Every taxi that drove bore new hope, then ran roughshed over it. Had to keep calm though — being old enough, I had to countenance the possibility of defeat at the hands of fate and folly. Hadn’t had my insides twisted like so in quite a while, quite a while.
But the anxiety, the cost of not-giving-up, was worth it. It was worth it. It was one of those times in which there were no qualms or forethought about the standing ovation. I couldn’t really see McKellen (LIVE!) very well, but to hear his voice in person — actually, it was just like in the movies … I’m glad to have witnessed such majesty.
The same company’s evening rendering of “The Seagull” was quite disturbing though. Disturbing to me, cos even though it was a “comic play” (OK I know that’s not the same as a “comedy”), the laughs were always wrought by bitterness and cruelty. It was all very … Russian? I have no idea what that is! I’ve only touched a bit of Dostoevsky … now I’m really apprehensive about feeling up the rest of the oeuvre; am I going to end up depressed and betrayed? Argh!
Actually, I think part of the reason for my dismay was the baffling lack of gelling by the cast — I guess Shakespeare’s more the RSC’s cup of tea, huh (cue bitterness?). Plus I could not stand the shouting-ness of Nina (maybe it was the actress — but I could stomach her Cordelia, wot). I suppose I’ll just have to get used to the Russian mode. Can’t keep quavering in this arrested development …
And yeah, just finished all of Arrested Development and am left with that familiar feeling of bitter disappoinment and untimely sadness — every time I hear “fox” in relation to TV, I think “Good shows go there to die.” (On the other hand, why not read this wiser take on what happened.) Would that they’d kept Firefly over AD, though — felt there some danger of shark-jumping in the latter’s second season (at least it had a frickin’ second and half of a third season, la), but the first season had moments of comedic gold (indubitably), and the attention to those telling flickers of detail just kills me, man.
Now let me confess why I’ve switched on the home ‘puter after ten days of happy dormancy. Was (waiting for and) listening to a 93.3FM interview with J Chou and leading lady Gui Lunmei (桂綸鎂) — I really enjoyed her performance in Blue Gate Crossing (藍色大門), she’s got that innate dignity going for her — and it sounds like the movie will be a good one! (Plus: an album in September and a concert in November!!) Thanks to MY for tipping me off about the interview — on the flip side, found out from a colleague that J (and hence G) were at this big mall near my hovel on Sunday … c’est la vie, mais oui!
Yes, life. It goes on. Stay safe and reflect upon it now and then.