strange_complex: (Strange complex)
Yes, I thought I might want to write a little about this. I'm still concerned that I might find tonight's special a little disappointing (though also still hopeful I won't), but even if I do, this went a long way towards marking the anniversary appropriately for me. I do very much love the William Hartnell era after all - enough that that is where my LJ username now comes from. And it is a great pleasure to be able to use the Doctor Who anniversary to help develop and refine my work-related thinking about anniversary commemorations, as well.

It's fair to say, as Laurence Miles has done most forcefully (in a post now sadly deleted from his blog), that An Adventure in Space and Time both mythologised and stereotyped some of its main characters )

Anyway, as both a work of drama and a nostalgic tribute, An Adventure in Space and Time was brilliant )

Fannish tick-boxes and tributes )

Cameos and casting )

Anyway. 50th anniversaries are funny ones, I think. They stand on the cusp between memory and history. Enough time has passed for things to have changed a great deal, for memories to have become distorted, and for the need to reinterpret the past in a way that makes sense now in the present to have arisen. But it is generally not long enough for all those involved to have died, so that there is also a need for negotiation between direct memory and reinterpretation - sometimes both at work within the same people. If Doctor Who marks its centenary, which I very much hope it does, the line of direct memory to its origins will by then have been broken. It will all be about second-hand interpretation of the recorded past, via archives and photographs and interviews and of course the show itself. But it will be enriched by the fact that the 50th anniversary has served as a prompt to add to our collective store of direct memories, now while we can and before they are gone forever.

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Things unblogged

Friday, 19 May 2006 11:33
strange_complex: (Darth blogging)
Gosh. I would appear to have some free time. Nominally, I'm at Warwick doing essay returns. But since I only have 11 people to see today, as opposed to the fearsome 35 I got through yesterday, there are a lot of gaps in the day when I can do other things. And I've actually run out of minor administrative tasks to perform, so that means I can write on LJ - yay!

What I'm going to do here is give quick accounts of some of the things I would have blogged over the last couple of months, if I'd had the time to do so. They probably won't get the same level of detail as they'd have had if I'd written them up at the time. But at least this way they won't be completely forgotten.

18th March - celebratory meal at Gee's )

30th March - Robin Blaze at the Wigmore Hall )

1st April - 'Springtime Baroque' concert at the Sheldonian )

24th April - QI recording )

8th May - Rik Mayall in 'The New Statesman' )

Well, that was a great relief! I feel a lot less weighed down by a back-log now, and more able to get on with posting about things day to day. There are still some Big Posts I need to make about things like my new job, and my book and so on. But this has definitely been a good start.
strange_complex: (Apollo Belvedere)
The goings-on of this weekend:

Friday evening - James Bowman )

Saturday day-time - gardening )

Saturday evening - The Oxford Greek Play )
------
1. Yeah, I'm aware that it's possible to get LJ to display the actual Greek alphabet. But I really am astonishingly tired, so think I'll save learning about that for some other time...

Le weekend

Monday, 25 April 2005 09:14
strange_complex: (Apollo Belvedere)
Doctor Who

It actually just gets better and better, doesn't it? I mean: the little pile of M&Ms by the red telephone, the many alternative Tardises and, best of all, the Massive Weapons of Destruction. Did the old Who ever boast such delightful symbolism or topical resonance? I propose from this day forth always to say 'Massive Weapons of Destruction' in everyday conversation rather than 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' in tribute to this weekend's episode.

And if that all weren't enough, we have the Daleks to look forward to next Saturday night. * faints from excitement *

Lysistrata at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast

I went to see this on Saturday evening with my colleague, John Curran, our three MA students and one of their boyfriends. It was OK, but I think I've been rather spoiled by the stunning tragedies put on by the Actors of Dionysus, not to mention a bright and breezy student adaptation of the Birds which I saw while at Oxford, and which had translated all the references to contemporary Athens into references to modern-day Oxford instead. While AoD's tragedies are innovative, fresh adaptations, which offer profound contemporary relevance and stunning choreography and manage to strike at the very core of one's emotional being, and the Oxford Birds at least drew on the real experiences of its cast and crew, Saturday's Lysistrata was merely... average.

A pity, because Aristophanes' writing at the time was incredibly bold and topical, and of course there is plenty of local significance that could have been drawn out of a play between two warring communities whose women decide to draw the conflict to an end themselves by holding a sex strike. But the attempts made to do so were half-hearted, the translation sounded suspiciously to me like what I remember of the Penguin one, and many of the lines came across as simply being spoken: not meant. This will probably sound like the most snobbish thing I've ever said, but it felt... provincial.

Still, it was nice to go out with our students, and I'm sure we did much to promote intra-departmental bonding in the process. And I enjoyed some very nice pan-fried duck with a summer fruits sauce in a bistro where we ate before the performance. So by no means a wasted evening.

strange_complex: (Default)
For non-locals: Belfast is about to begin celebrating its yearly Arts Festival, which I'm told is second only in scale to the Edinburgh Festival in the UK.

For locals: below are the events I have already bought tickets to. Some I am attending with a very nice young lady named Cath; some I am thus far going to alone. So if anyone likes the sound of any of them and wants to accompany me (I'm sure Cath would be happy to meet you too), they'd be very welcome. All tickets can be bought on the festival website, unless otherwise noted.

Friday 22nd October: Gluck's baroque opera, Iphigenie en Tauride, performed by the Welsh National Opera at the Grand Opera House. Kick-off 7:30pm. I'm also going to the free pre-show talk at 6:15 in Grosvenor House, Glengall Street. Tickets direct from the Grand Opera House (02890 241 919).

Sunday 24th October: Kate Rusby at the Lyric Theatre, 7:30pm. Apparently, she sings 'folk music for people who don't like folk music', and is both talented and innovative. (I'm mainly going to this one because Cath wants to). Tickets theoretically available on the web-site, but it kept messing itself up when I tried to order them, so in the end I phoned the Lyric Theatre instead (02890 385 685).

Saturday 30th October: John Carpenter's The Thing at the Queen's Film Theatre, 10:30 pm (late showing).

Sunday 31st October (Halloweeeeeen!): The Nightmare Before Christmas at the QFT, 3pm. Theatre of Blood at the QFT, 7pm. Ed Wood at the QFT, 9pm.

Wednesday 3rd November: A play entitled Alladeen at BBC Blackstaff. Surreal multi-media performance about Indian call centres, wish fulfilment and popular culture, it sez 'ere (festival brochure...). Kick-off, 7:30pm.

Saturday 6th November: 'Songs of the Spirit' at the Clonard Monastery (no, really), 7:30pm. Haunting choral music by candlelight, including Tavener, Rachmaninov, Brucker and some unattributed spirituals.

Crumbs! I have managed to spread those out fairly evenly... but still, I hope I actually have time to fit in going to them between all my lectures. :S

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