There was stuff, and it happened at the National Theatre, where lots of stuff happens! And this time, no one told me to "Get stuffed" which usually happens when I wear that yellow jacket and stuff! (How many ways can I use the words 'stuff' and 'happens'? Hmm, overkill).

3 cheers yet again for the £10 Travelex season. Booked this play up waaaay back in August, where the guy in the box office told me that October 7th was the nearest date he could give me close seats in the middle. No rush, eh? Had university all day, so naturally each minute seemed an hour, and the tutor could have waffled forever. The moment the words "Alright that's it," left his mouth, I was up, packing my bag, and running out of university. And into the rush hour! Had the usual pre-theatre Chinese, but alas, no coffee. The Costa at the N.T. were sold out of those delicious shortbread cookies, which, *sniff* I can't say didn't disappoint me. Instead bought a chocolate cookie, which tasted of cardboard. So as revenge to Costa, didn't buy one of their (lovely) coffees which I was in desperate need of. Next time, I'll stop being petty.

Was absolutely packed in the N.T. that night, with lots of quaffing, women wafting past with unbelievably strong perfume on ("fragrence" as the idiots would say around here), and of course every single seats was taken. I would have sat on the floor, but the cleaners would have probably brushed me into a corner with all the other dirt ;) Bought a programme (a vivd green and black, ohhhh I want to shake hands with the designer there!), desperately hoping it might tell me what this play was about. It's not that I don't like politics, but I find much of it petty, resembling the bitchin' that used to occur outside of classrooms at school. But you know when you're too excited/stupid to take anything in before a performance? That's me all over! So after getting fingerprints all over the black parts, we sat down inside the Olivier theatre. I had a guy who must have been around 6 foot-something next to me, huge all over, so he was hogging half of my seat before I'd even sat down. Bloody legs spread open, and had there been an armrest, I'm sure he would have been draped all over that too! This led to me taking over part of my sister's seat ("Move over!! What's the matter with you?!"), and I wonder whether this vicious circle carried on till the end of the row. I've sat in rows A and B, and had no problem with space, but row C felt like torture for 3 hours! I never knew my body could bend that way ;) So row C is NOT recommended, and remember people, I'm only a short-arse 5 foot 5!

Onto the show! Mainly concerning the roles of President Bush and his government, along with Tony Blair and his (*cough*) government, from the events of September 11th onwards. Alex Jennings portrayed Bush *spot on*, so much so that the audience would laugh just at how he walked, or his facial expressions; it was all there! That tight-lipped, concentrating frown, as well as the script, played him as the almost 'comic relief' of the play, and I began to wonder whether his character was becoming a farce, when I remembered he really is like that! Some of the play's script (including the title) were taken from real statements from the 'offending' people, so there you go. Nicholas Farrell as Tony Blair was equally as good; he perhaps didn't resemble the man as much, but one of his first lines was so identical that the audience started clapping! The stand out actor of the night was Joe Morton as Colin Powell - what a wonderful actor! He really conveyed the frustration and anger of the events unfolding around him, and is one of the few actors who can shout and *not* make me want to laugh (don't ask why I laugh in the first place!). It was odd seeing him there, as earlier that day in the studio at uni, we'd been discussing The Terminator films, the second of which Mr Morton is in. (Just to try and finalise that discussion, Terminator 2 is the best, The Terminator's ending is great, but the rest of the film is very 80s, and personally, Terminator 3 doesn't exist). Done! And oh look, there's Kevork Malikyan, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a film which I watched only a week or 2 ago! Weird.

A few of the actors from the other show still currently running in the Olivier theatre ('Forum of course!) also took part in this one; Isla Blair, Alan Leith, Desmond Barrit (woo!) and Philip Quast (!!!). Desmond Barrit was playing Dick Cheney, a rather horrible man. He had this permenant scowl on his face all night, lips curled, staring out at the audience, drawling when he spoke. But y'know, there's something oddly funny about him, no matter what role he plays, and the fact that he was losing his voice a little seemed to make me want to laugh even more (not in a cruel way, I assure you!). He said a line something along the lines of, "When the cat shit gets bigger than the cat, get ridda the cat!" Gave me the excuse to finally laugh out loud (laughing at inappropriate times is the worst kind, isn't it?). Isla Blair was looking very smart (loved the hair!). Same too for Philip Quast, who was wearing a rather tight-fitting suit.....I'll stop now on descriptions, as I know what I'm like :/ He played quite a few roles, getting the chance to speak with that Australian/English accent, an American one, and even French (South Pacific popped into my head as I sat there, mentally battering myself for not having seen it). He at one point shouted out a line, "45 minutes, shit!" that was so abrupt I couldn't help laughing! Who'd know that thighs like that lurked underneath that suit...woah, stop, enough!!

The audience itself was entertaining! There were a great many Americans sitting around my sister and I, and I wondered before it started what their reactions would be. One guy on front seemed to be laughing the whole way through, another behind would hiss at certain comments. There was a group of people up in the dress circle who would cheer when a particularly bitchy comment was said. I myself would gasp and laugh, or sit watching a joke pass right over my head (memories of Anything Goes and Democracy!). Angus Wright, as the narrator, I have to admit scared me a lot. He'd stand in the middle of the stage, and bascially slag us all off, making coments on the people of the time. I found myself shrinking in my seat, desperately hoping he'd vacate the place soon! He's very familiar, but I can't place him... I also feel that there were perhaps too many people onstage than there really needed to be. I'm sure some of the background roles could have been performed by just one person. The role at the end could have been an American or British person person, too. And in terms of political plays I've seen this year, I prefered Democracy. But it was still great, don't get me wrong! Well do, everyone does ;) Certainly worth seeing, and at a tenner, that's a bargain!

7TH OCTOBER 2004

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