18TH FEBRUARY 2005
"Make it so!"
are the precise words Patrick Stewart probably has in his contract that he under no circumstances will ever say again in his life. Unless Paramount wave a life-sized cheque in front of him, and lure him back for another Star Trek film. I'll admit it. I am a Star Trek fan. The Next Generation of course, all others are inferior (I shan't listen to your arguments, no captain shall beat Jean-Luc Picard!). Can anyone guess why I saw A Life in the Theatre? "Hahah, it's Jean-Luc, innit!" came the cries of fans, barred from entering the theatre - Star Trek uniforms (yes, even the dress uniforms) were strictly forbidden. Even a comm badge. No don't go giving me any funny looks, I own none of the before stated. Heard about the show whilst watching London Tonight, and those lovely student offers passed on by the wonderful Theatremonkey. Admittedly, Star Trek: TNG had been on before London Tonight (look, my mum watches it every night, it's called brainwashing!).

The under 26 year old seats were £17, 'relegated' to the 2 front rows due to the high stage. I was lead to believe the stage was about 10 foot tall, but all we missed were the actor's feet, which is no big loss in my opinion (I am not a foot fetishist... unlike some friends, heheh). Everyone else around us were under 26, except for this old couple in the front row; perhaps 26 years before they were a century old ;) The 2 sat on front of my sister and I were obvious Star Trek fans, don't ask how I know, just had a feeling, and throughout the performance, she'd lay her head on his shoulder, kiss him, whisper - this is not the cinema! Some of us have paid half price seats here, so shh!

The play starred only 2 people - Mr Stewart, as already mentioned, and the rather handsome Joshua Jackson, from the show Dawson's Creek (Creep?) which I've never seen in my life. There may have been a few fangirls of his nearby, who seemed desperate for a good squealing session. The play was about 2 actors, young and veteran, their experiences, and how their roles and relationship with each other changed/swaped over time. Funny at times, with almost heartbreaking scenes of sadness (including an attempted suicide by Stewart, was awful). The comments Stewart's character would make, including something along the lines of, "Stupid fuckin' twits!" as well as uttering the 'C' word, much to the delightful shrieks of the audience. He'd sit there, entirely still, but slowly shaking, until these obscenities would come spilling outta him, was very funny. He also had the scariest deadpan blank stare. When asking JJ's opinion on his performance that night, he said, "Brittle." That stare lasted for ages. Finally, "What do you mean brittle?" Was very funny! Other conversations, inlcuding asking JJ what he was doing after the show, obviously wanting to be invited out with him, but refusing to ask, just hinting, staring, was almost excruciating.

Joshua Jackson played the other half to the neutrotic, as the long-suffering inexperienced actor. As the show progressed, and he became a bigger star, his character no longer felt the need to be polite to Stewart's anymore, or have to put up with him, becoming less tolerant.He became less likable in this sense, as Stewart's became more pitiable. Jackson's constant replies of, ".....uh huh" to Stewart's ramblings were surprisingly consistantly funny. Felt so sorry for his character when he was trying to rehearse, and Stewart's intruding voice would be heard offstage. Oh, he's going away now, voice is gettig dimmer....nope, he's back again, very loud! JJ had a lovely warm voice - I obviously need not say how wonderful Patrick Stewart's voice is. Him reading aloud a menu would be enthralling I'm sure!

I was told there may be a little nudity onstage; brilliant, I thought. We were treated to scenes of them both in their changing room, talking, bitching, arguing, and also changing clothing! Both of them standing there in their underwear!! Whew, has it suddenly got hot? Where were we to look?? Without trying to sound like a raging pervet, Mr Jackson has to have had something else stuffed down those pants, as, well... *splutter* And Mr Stewart was looking great for his age - as I've said before, I wouldn't say no ;) The scenes involving them actually performing to an invisible audience, their backs to the real audience, were interesting (though I just wanted to shriek, "Turn around!"). Especially enjoyed the ending to one of the plays, with them both cornily waving to a ship that would save them, was so awful! And Stewart's character forgetting his lines were painful to watch; that would be my biggest fear. No worries there, I often forget my house phone number, and I've only been living here 22 years!

A lovely little play, thoughtful, and a good night out (well evening, as it was only an hour and a half, no interval, which felt rather odd). Am looking to get ahold of the text now, yay for Amazon!

"I feel perhaps they saw a better show than the one we rehearsed."

Cat Nip, all its characters & the artwork Trudi Castle;
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