First of what is going to be a theatre-packed month today. The play was Leaves of Glass by Philip Ridley with the excellent Ben Whishaw and Maxine Peake of Dinner Ladies and Shameless fame at the Soho Theatre.
It is a small theatre with unallocated seating. Being the penultimate performance it was sold out but I still managed to secure a spot on the front row.
The stage was the same height as my seat and close enough to act as a comfortable foot rest, so the action is very close, more of which later.
It is an interesting play, a tale of two very different brothers shaped by a childhood loss and experience.
The incident which is central to their relationship is never explicitly explained, merely hinted at which makes it all the worse. The brothers can never have an equal relationship because of it and this becomes apparent as the play progresses.
Although two hours without an interval, it rushed by helped by startling good performances by all four cast members. Ben Whishaw adopts the east end, working class boy turned self-made business man attitude, as well as accent, effortlessly.
The only suffering during the performance, on my part anyway, was during a fight scene between the two brothers. During the scuffle, Ben Whishaw's watch some how got ripped off and hit me from across the other side of the stage. I have a (very small) bruise on the top of my foot. It did take me and the person sat next to me somewhat by surprise.
At the end of the play, being the goodish citizen I am, I only thought about pocketing it as a memento for a second or two. Instead I handed it in to a rather bemused member of the theatre staff.
Definitely goes into my claim to fame top three after Jools Holland buying me a scotch and being kissed on the cheek by snooker players Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White when I was 18.
* possible hyperbole