January 22nd, 2004


What you agree not to see...

Most people have read 'His Dark Materials' that are going to - but little of what is below is plot spoilers except in the loosest possible sense.

green_amber got tickets for the first half of the National Theatre production this afternoon and it was so fab that we stuck around and got returns for the second half this evening. The whole thing reminded me that photographic realism and CGI is not the only way to go - theatrical magic is also wonderful. Bears done by having an actor in grey makeup holding a bear head and a bear claw; daemons moved around by masked puppeteers in black whom, after a while, one mostly ignores except when they need us not to for some particular point; stage revolves and drums and a band at the sides of the stage and people playing several parts and its not mattering. It takes something like this to drag me back to the theatre (always excepting the opera and occasionally musicals) because I need to see something that matters to me in a distinctly theatrical way.

And Timothy Dalton and Patricia Hodge were terrific as Azriel and Mrs Coulter - you got the nightmare ruthlessness, and mutual hatred, but also the abiding love and self-sacrifice and cold courage. The actress who played Lyra was just about perfect in spite of a dodgy stage Oxfordshire accent - clearly in Lyra's world Oxfordshire borders on Mummerset.

As you will be gathering from this, I am getting over things as much as you ever do. The funeral was closure of a sort - the old chap got a good turnout. I am working and going to movies and getting a life back. Also, this year at least, all the stress and heartbreak has not especially damaged my health - my diabetes clinic gave me an all clear on serum glucose and cholesterol and blood pressure. Apparently I cheat just the right amount on my diet... I guess it helps that in this area of my life at least, I manage not to lie to myself.