Monday, 29 September 2014

Dylan Thomas

Llio and I have just returned from a rather lovely cabaret-cum-theatre performance at The Crazy Coqs, which is a glamorous basement venue opposite the Piccadilly Theatre on the fringes of Soho. The piece focusses on a recently published set of letters which the poet Dylan Thomas sent to Pearl Kazin, an American journalist, with whom he had an affair. No one knows what Kazin wrote back to the poet - her letters were all understandably destroyed by Thomas' wife - so the rather charming conceit of the cabaret was that a male actor would read Thomas' letters whilst a female singer sung songs which imagined what her responses might have been.

The end result was intoxicating, and hugely intimate. It is not often you get to feel the heat of a singer's breath on your face because she is standing so close to you! I was particularly moved by a setting of the poem "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night." Such an astonishing poem.

Llio was less impressed than I was, and, indeed, if you allow yourself to be pulled into the slightly troublesome moral minefield triggered by the fact that these beautiful love letters were being written to a mistress, not a wife, then they take on a considerably less romantic quality!

What tickled me was to discover that the performance was being proudly funded "by the Welsh Government."
Proof positive, if proof were needed that devolution is good for the arts. Can anyone imagine Westminster directly sponsoring and putting their name to a piece of cabaret based on an English poet? An arms deals, yes, but certainly not a work of art!

It was surprisingly warm outside today and Nathan and I went to Highgate Woods to take photographs of some of the pairs of socks he's about to release as patterns. We found a big tree trunk which created a rather lovely backdrop, until, that was, scores of children decided that they wanted to walk along the trunk as well!

We went to the local laundrette. Our own washing machine has broken, but at £4 for a wash and £2 for a tumble dry, we'll go bankrupt if it remains broken for long! It's astonishing how much these things cost.

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