Friday, 27 February 2009


I've been bedridden since yesterday morning after inexplicably contracting some manner of fatal disease (and it really is inexplicable; I was feeling fine on Wednesday night and looking forward to a four-day weekend on account of lecture cancellation only to wake up on Thursday feeling like death).

Nonetheless, I wrapped up warm and, hacking and wheezing all the way, dragged myself out to The Criterion last night to see The 39 Steps, which I'd failed to see when it was at Richmond. The Criterion's a favourite venue of mine- mostly underground with headache-inducing twisty corridors that lead nowhere, I hadn't been there since seeing the Reduced Shakespeare Company years ago. I love the prestigious positioning of a theatre (you step out faced with the neon of Picadilly Circus) juxtaposed with the fact that you sometimes have to strain to hear the dialogue over the rumbling of a passing Tube (reminding me of the good old days at The Camden People's Theatre), a grungy, intimate little venue right in the heart of London that's ornately Victorian and almost a fringe comedy venue.

The show was similarly confused, although not as pleasingly. It was very funny, but seemed preoccupied by the style, so most of the time the joke is that there are only four people, which you've accepted after the first ten minutes. Much like Spamalot I had a nagging feeling throughout that something was wrong, and I'm left wondering *why* I wasn't that keen. Which I can hardly put in an essay. Ah well.

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