The reason that I missed it, was that I was wandering around Central London with my friend Veronica after seeing Stuff Happens at the National. For those who don't see the London papers, this is a large cast, theatre-in-the-round version of the events leading up to the Iraq war, written from a fair-minded, ultimately hostile perspective. It portrays Bush as cunning and manipulative rather than clever, Condolezza Rice as treacherous and prepared to put her career ahead of the right thing and Tony Blair as Bush's anxious suitor, always putting up with one load of crap in order to try and avoid the next load.
The closest thing to a hero - which is not what one expects from an old Lefty like Hare, which is part of the point - is Colin Powell, who is shown as arguing for diplomacy and against war right up to the moment that his President tells him that the decision has been made. He is not the type who resigns - and the show leaves ambiguous whether ambition or loyalty predominates in this - and that is that. Along the way, there are speeches by a pro-war intellectual rebuking an audience of metropolitan liberals for the luxury of disapproving and by an Iraqi who talks of the disaster that the actual war has been for his country.
The whole thing is quite cerebral and rather too obsessed with the social comedy of political process rather than actual emotion or ideals, but it is still a very impressive evening in the theatre. It is made even more impressive by a live performance of fragments - a broken waltz, a mad frenzied dance, the composer's name as the notes of a gently rhythmic dirge- of the Shostakovich Eighth Quartet, which, as I pointed out to the people I was with, was dedicated to the victims of war and Fascism. Sometimes knowing stuff actually adds to your enjoyment.
In other bits of life - having been interrupted by 36 hours of serious stomach bugs and their aftermath, which are apparently the current London cold - I am finally sitting down and watching Popular Season One with a view to including it in the teen movie book (now under way officially). I remembered it as good and sharp, but I had forgotten just how sharp, shiny and slashy that show was. There was a reason why Brooke and Sam were one of the great femmeslash couples of their day and why Nicole got paired with either of them moderately often. And there is a cross-over pairing I wish someone would write - Harmony Kendall and the even stupider Mary Charry. More of this as I watch more - and at some point some Xena thoughts as well, I promise.
Oh, and if anyone wants to write Dawn/Celeste, I will be happy, because otherwise I would have to try and write it myself and I am much too busy. I suspect even the Giles/Lilah is going to have to wait for completion until I have actually finished the Heathers chapter. Does anyone know a URL where I can read the alternate ending? I think I prefer what they went with, but it would be nice to know in detail what the posthumous prom was like.