Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Night at the Opera (House)

Last night I went to see this. I'm sure a lot of you have seen it already in London, or even the film version, but we're a bit behind the times here. Anyway, the 4 of us who went all thought it a good production of an excellent play. The staging was snappy, with intercuts of film of school corridors and an eighties soundtrack (baggy trousers, Adam and the Ants etc pretty obvious choices really).

The actors playing the boys were convincing even if their haircuts weren't quite bad enough to be truly 'eighties'.* Steven Moore was paying Hector and he was OK but not quite up to Richard Griffiths' larger than life persona. Isla Blair played the woman teacher which distracted me as I kept thinking of Isla St. Clair? who I think used to present the Generation Game when I was a kid.

One of my companions had a 17 year old son, which I think rather coloured her view of the whole thing. When you have a son studying for his A levels, seeing a pederast in action, is probably not the most soothing of experiences.

As I was doing my own Oxbridge entrance exam at the same time as The History Boys it all rang very true. We were also told that you have to have 'an angle' to convince the dons to let you in. The boys using long words they didn't understand, mispronouncing Nietzsche etc was all very familiar.

The only irritating thing was that where I was sitting I was surrounded by older people who were, perhaps, teachers, they tutted every swear word and laughed too loudly at every literary reference or joke about the 'subjunctive'.

The discussion on the way home revolved around whether Hector was a hero (inspirational, horizon-broadening) or just a dirty, old man. My view, he was both.

What did you all think?
*A typical eighties haircut


MotherPie said...

We loved Wicked... and it has just opened in London and would recommend that.

Mangonel said...

Yes but, you could see most of the adult characters in two ways. Like the headmaster - yes he was driven by achievement for achievement's sake, but without him pushing, none of the boys would have done what they did. And the young smoothie, whose name I forget, presented a very obvious duality, based on a lie, but again ending up with the truth. And I think Bennett insists that none of the boys are damaged by Hector's attentions (but he does this by ignoring the secretary's reaction to the headmaster's depradations - or by pretending they don't exist. Didn't like that so much.). And surely Hector comes out well because he loves, and the headmaster doesn't because he doesn't.

Dave said...

I have seen neither play nor film.


I did just want to say, in advance, that I will be mentioning radiologists tomorrow. Sorry.

Urban Chick said...

and didn't thingmejig look the spit of alastair campbell (the one who supposedly became a journalist)??

Mangonel said...

The piano playing hottie? maybe a bit, but in a very hot way.

realdoc said...

I think we had a different cast in Belfast to the one in the film.So I didn't notice a hottie.