La Cage aux Folles – Playhouse Theatre, London – review

I wouldn’t have picked it myself, as I thought it would just be another silly musical. But I went along with a friend and yes it was a musical but it was far from silly. La Cage Aux Folles (which first was a play then a film, then a US film with Robin Williams (The Bird Cage) and now a musical on the London West End) was uplifting and touching.

The idyllic existence of Georges and the dazzling drag artiste Albin, star of the La Cage aux Folles club, is threatened when Georges’ son announces his engagement to the daughter of a right-wing politician, who wants to close down the local colourful nightlife! With a visit from the prospective in-laws imminent, they all decide to take drastic action to hide their lifestyle… but can they keep it up?

Worth seeing alone for Graham Norton who gave a surprisingly steady performance as Albin, drag queen extraordinaire. (But be quick as his last performance is next week. The show will extend its run though, just with another cast).

If you like a feel good musical with a good story then this is your thing. It’s also very watchable for the incredible dance performances of the rest of the male dragqueens. I think I might have to see the Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical now too.

Official website for La Cage aux Folles
[Rating: 5/5]

State of Play – the movie

State of Play - movie

If you have seen the fantastic BBC miniseries of State of Play, you’ll understand that the film had quite a bit to live up to. How could they squeeze a cracking 6 hours of drama in a 2 hours film. And worse – how could they (I mean how could they!) replace a British cast with the likes of Bill (Bafta winning for his turn as editor Cameron Foster) Nighy, Kelly McDonald, James McAvoy, John Simm and David Morrisey with people like Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe and have Helen Mirren taking over the role of editor?

I went to see it with the intention not to like it, I didn’t quite succeed.

The story line is simular to the one in the miniseries, but has been adjusted to a story set in the US. It does feel cramped though, and I wondered, if I hadn’t seen the miniseries, would I actually get what it is all about.

OK, I admit it, Russel Crowe wasn’t bad as Cal McAffrey, and he worked very well with Rachel McAdam’s Della, the blog journalist turning into his assistant.

Helen Mirren’s performance felt staged and was suffering from too little screen time. Also – there was no way she was going to outclass Bill.

All in all the story was still gripping and it was entertaining enough to watch but if you liked the film just a little bit I really urge you to see the BBC miniseries, because they are so much better.

[Rating:3/5]

I (f)ear you

(*)You didn’t know I was a bionic woman did you? Or maybe you did, I had a simular operation about 5 years ago (in Dutch sorry – but they replaced one of the tiny bones in my ear with a tiny platinum replacement – yes they have to cut through the ear drum and this time they will also make a cut in my ear – brrrr) and about 2 weeks from now I am going to go through the same procedure again. Or kind of, they will try to figure out why my bionic ear is no longer that bionic anymore (in other words, I am pretty deaf on that ear).

This operation came a bit unexpected but the good thing about that is that I can’t worry about it for too long, as it is soon. The other good thing is that it will take place under full aneastetic, which means that unlike last time, I don’t have to worry about laying still: I will as I will be fast asleep so the doctor can laser around steadily. And it was pretty scary to hear all the sounds in my ear last time when I got operated while being concious, so I am glad I won’t have to go through that again.

I am also glad I wrote down how the recovery period went, I had forgotten about the strange noises in my ear, the loss of taste on a side of my tongue and things like that. This was all temporary and all went away after a few days. I am not looking forward to it, but hopefully I will regain a big part of my hearing in my left hear when it’s done. And maybe, just maybe, my tinitus will disappear again too.

It will take place in Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London. They have been around for quite a while, so let’s hope they do a decent job.

I will have to stay at home for a week or two after it’s done. So I better start preparing and make sure I have stacks of films and books ready by then. Is The Boat That Rocked DVD out yet? What do you mean, No?

Easter in the Netherlands

Spring is in the air

Easter food/drink in Holland is :

Other Easter highlights:

  • The weather. It has been over 20 C every day of the weekend, amazing. I actually got an Easter tan. I don’t think that has ever happened before, normally it rains.
  • A canal boat trip through Utrecht. Nice to see a city I know so well from a complete different angle.
  • Being able to bike everywhere as it is so flat.
  • And last but not least, as dire chance and fateful cockup would have it: we managed to get ourselves into a secret sneak preview of The Boat That Rocked in Scheveningen the Saturday morning at 10.30am. The only screening all week in the Netherland before the official release on the 16th of April. And did I mention it was for free!

    We had to get up at 6.45am to be able to make it to Scheveningen all the way from IJsselstein on Saturday, but we did make it, and after being supplied with two reservation numbers (we didn’t even know you needed those but a very friendly woman had two extra ones and made our day!) we entered the Pathe cinema and enjoyed Quentin with Dutch subtitles. Rock ‘n roll baby!

So what did you do with Easter?