Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
Just been from the National Theatre after seeing Tom Stoppard's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. If you studied music at school, you'll immediately recognise the mnemonic... Now, for a change, I'm not going to do what I normally do and write an essay about the damn play. Instead I am merely going to tell you to get your little bum bum down to the NT and see this show.
Though the drama had its premiere in 1977, the difficulties in staging a play that require a full orchestra (on stage!) in addition to the cast of actors means that it is rarely performed.
It was the composer Andre Previn (he also scored the music for the play) who put it to Stopard that he ought to write a play for a symphony orchestra. So Stoppard created a play which didn't simply have an orchestra around to play some music, but to perform a function absolutely essential to the narrative of the drama - all I will say is that the play takes place in an insane asylum (in the Soviet Union, of course) and one of the crazies has an illness which takes the form of him imagining that he "has an orchestra." You can imagine how this plays out with a full orchestra on stage.
It's pure brilliance and an absolute one of a kind. Funny, charming, disturbing, thoughtful, and provocative. Do yourself a favour and get a ticket - it's on until the end of February and since it's one of the shows with a corporate sponsor you can get a ticket for only ten quid!
And oh yeah, what instrument do you play?