Friday, 10 July 2015

Car Troubles, Bees, Summer, and Friends

Last week was mostly distinguished by being very, very hot. At least by English standards.

It was an mixed week for me - on Monday, the exhaust pipe (or at least the back half of it) fell off my car on the way home from work. Annoyingly, the exhaust broke somewhere in the middle,and the bit attaching it to the back of the bumper didn't, so it didn't actually fall off, it just dragged along the road, so I had to stop can carry out emergency tying bits of the car together (fortunately I had several bits of bungee in the boot)

Fortunately my neighbour is a mechanic and kindly removed it for me once I got home, and the car is now fixed, but it was not a good start to the week. 

Wednesday I had planned to go to the cinema to see the live broadcast of Carmen but it was too hot, and by the time I got home from work I was tired, hot and had a nasty headache, so I didn't go.

After that, the week started to improve. On Thursday I went bee-ing again, which was interesting. I am starting to feel a bit more confident, and competent,  around the bees, which is nice. I am going to have to start scouting around to see where I might  be able to keep a hive or two next year...

Then on Friday evening I met up with my friend T to go to the theatre, in Bath,which was lots of fun.
Catherine Steadman (Kate) and
Michael Pennington (Mr Hardcastle)
We saw 'She Stoops to Conquer'  which is on as part of the Theatre Royal's summer season. The play was originally performed in 1773, but for this production the setting has been updated to the 1920s, which mostly works - it is still feasible, just about to have the big class divides which underlie the plot.

The plot relies heavily on characters being unable to recognise one another, and on the dashing young gentlemen being fooled into thinking that the manor house was in fact an inn...

Hubert Burton plays Marlow, shy and tongue-tied with women of his own class, forward and brash with women he believes to be his social inferiors, and cringingly snobbish and superior towards his host, Mr Hardcastle (Michael Pennington) who he believes to be an inn keeper. Marlow has a touch of Bertie Wooster about him, and while his way with innkeepers and serving maids is a little unappealing to modern eyes, it is very well done.

Micheal Pennington had a far less showy role, but played it with beautiful restraint, as Mr Hardcastle, ready to welcome the son of his best friend as his daughter's suitor, but  met with arrogance and treated as a servant.

Catherine Steadman (who I last saw in 'Oppenheimer') was Kate Hardcastle, who seemed more n control of events than any of the other characters, and seemed to enjoy playing the barmaid to 'conquer' Marlow.

It was all good fun, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and felt the setting - (both the period and the revolving set) worked well.

The play is on in Bath until 18th July, so plenty of time to see it if you are in the area!

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