And so to another book launch – this time it’s Michael Pennington, an actor with a life-long relationship with the Bard, and his book “Sweet William”. A happy gathering in the Farringdon Road, with an entertaining speech by Nick Hern the publisher, and from Michael himself a witty summing up of his life of interpreting the playwright “who’s kept me in biscuits for 40 years…”
Yesterday to the heart of Dalston, the Arcola Theatre, to see:
by Sofi Oksanen
It’s a piece with an unusual history: it started as a play commissioned by
the Finnish National Theatre, then became a novel, and then became a play again. I’m a bit unsure as to whether the Arcola version is the original play or an adaptation of the later novel. Oksanen has a huge reputation in Scandinavia, and the novel has been translated into 38 languages.
I took the NYU students along because some of them are studying script-writing, and Scandinavia in recent times has been the source of so many successful books and screenplays.
It’s well worth going to see – a strong story set in a corner of Europe we don’t, in this country, hear too much about – the Baltic states of Finland and Estonia, and the grim time people living there had during and after World War 2, under the influence of Stalinist Russia. It’s gutsy, well-acted, although at times I had the feeling this was very much the work of a novelist – I found my suspension of disbelief straining a bit as a character embarked on yet another lengthy speech explaining the story so far…
But the acting and the direction are excellent, and there’s an impressive central performance from Illona Linthwaite. Worth the effort to get there – it’s really easy if you go via Highbury & Islington – just two stops on the Overground.
Today I will be at Olympia at 2.30 with that wonderful actor and human being EDWARD BENNETT in THE HENLEY SUITE, SEMINAR ROOM D, and again tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 10.30 in the OLYMPIA SEMINAR ROOM.
Come and see us – everything you could ever possibly want to know about getting into drama school!
It’s all part of www.performshow.co.uk