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Saturday, 6 September 2008

USA day 2: Hartford


Went and saw Equus last night at the Broadhurst Theatre - My tickets were not 'on the stage' as had been implied, which is the first thing that annoyed me - I was up on a balcony thing overlooking the stage, so I was up in 'the gods' practically. I know I was warned that the view may be a little limited in terms of where the actors were looking... 'A LITTLE' my arse! The performance did not cater at all for the people sitting behind the cast - it was all played to the front, which pissed me off considering I paid like $126 for seats that were billed as being some of the best in the house.

For $126 I got a view of the vast and extensive back of Richard Griffiths (who mumbled so much I could barely hear half of what he said... as did a lot of the rest of the cast. I was really surprised at Griffiths though, considering how respected an actor he is, I'd have thought he'd have known how to throw his voice out to his audience! Kate Mulgrew was the only one who I had no trouble hearing at all - her voice was good n' loud, and clear as a bell the entire way through, even with her back to me! That's how projection should be done!), the top of Harry Potter and Kate Mulgrew's heads, and a view between a teenage girl's legs that I really could have done without. If I was a guy, that would have been the highlight of the show for me, like the 50+ year old men who were practically falling over the edge of the balcony to get a better view, but I'm not a man, so it certainly wasn't a highlight for me. I'd have preferred to have seen their faces occasionally.

Not exactly what I had in mind.

However, the acting (for the most part) was great. The blonde girl who tries to get with Radcliffe absolutely pissed me off. She over-acted absolutely everything and had the most awful fake english accent. She was like some overly peppy teeny-bopper on speed. Although I still don't like Daniel Radcliffe, I will now at least give him the credit he deserves: He IS a very good actor, and I think he'll go on to do many more great things in the acting world, and, hopefully the theatre.

The staging was brilliant - simple, but very effective - I didn't like the bit where he gouged their eyes out because of the recording of horses screaming they played, and the actors leaping around, teamed with my extremely over-active and vivid imagination, my great love for horses, and my knowledge that this did actually happen (to about 26 horses rather than just 6) - it actually upset me quite a lot - just the thought that some fucked up kid could do that to innocent horses for no real reason other than some wierd... 'thing' that was going on only in his own head - that 6 animals were blinded just for being horses. It is sickening.

I've complained endlessly about Equus, but I'm really glad I went to see it, as I couldn't afford to go when it was showing in london.
I think it's a play that should be seen, to try to see the world from a different perspective. I'm surprised, as It's such a brilliantly concieved and written play that this is only really the second time it's been done (last time was in 75(?) i think and dad went and saw it and told me that I'd really enjoy it) but at the same time, i don't think it should be done too often as it will become normalised and people will become immune to it - won't be as shocking and disturbing.

Some more random NY observations while on the bus to Hartford:

Everyone drives european cars (apart from the big limos and the luxury 4x4s which drive me insane because they have no earthly reason/use for being in a city) where was I? oh yes, apart from them, and the occasional lincoln/luxury car and beaten up stationwagons, they are pretty much the same cars as the ones over here - mainly mazdas, toyotas and mercedes.

The humidity is absolutely stifling outside! god bless Peter Pan busses for being air-conditioned! (on a side note - the on-board toilet was a bit of an eye-opener! I've been spoiled by National Express coaches with their posh little flushing toilets and sinks! I wasn't expecting Marble surfaces, but I certainly wasnt expecting a tudor-style hole in a shelf over a giant bucket of excrement and chemicals sloshing around a foot below O.o I actually prayed we wouldn't hit a bump while I was on there) Strangely though, american humidity isn't as unbearble as English humidity - I don't know why - I don't mind it half so much. It's about 12:45 now and am just by Central Park and it looks like it is coming on to rain...


Just drove through Harlem. I honestly don't see what all the fuss is about. It's got wonderfully thriving black community, and apart from a few burnt out buildings, it seems no different to any city outskirt neighbourhood - I think the bad press it gets is undeserved. To be honest - I felt more unsafe driving through Lewisham at home than I did going through Harlem.

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