nia_kantorka: (hamlet)
First of all I have to admit that I tried to read Hamlet twice and didn't succeed as a teenager. I gladly took the opportunity to see this play and finally read it. It's not that I've never liked classics, it's more that I probably was saturated as a teenager - we read lots of German classicals during school. For example I loved Kafka and Schiller, and hated Böll and Keller. Okay, I'll stop my rambling now and go on with the topic.

So, I just read the play in September in English and German to really get the knack of it and what everyone's talking about (tbh, 16th century English is still a bit above my skills). It worked well and didn't even have to glance at the programme. It also did help that I'd listened to Cabin Pressure in advance because I was quite used to BC's mumbling. Yes, sometimes Hamlet wasn't talking that loud, but I got most of it anyway.

And now we are in the middle of the performance. It took me only around 5-10 minutes to get over the 'OMG, I'm really seeing Benedict Cumberbatch just two meters away on a stage'-feeling (yes, the seats were in row two so we were really that close to the stage) and I only saw Hamlet: grieving, seeking revenge, playing mad, being torn, becoming guilty and getting really a bit mad in the process - it was great. As I can't compare the performace, I had to take it as it was and I loved especially the parts when he was mocking everyone else. Those were my favourite parts while reading the play too, and I think BC did a great job here. I assume the grieving parts are similiar, no matter who plays Denmark's prince, as bringing big feelings to live is what actors are trained for.

I loved the whole cast. Polonius (Jim Norton) was great and funny in his zeal, Claudius (Ciarán Hinds) was nasty and cunningly working on Hamlets downfall, Gertrude (Anastasia Hille) was so torn and desperately trying to keep her kingdom together, Horatio (Leo Bill) was a great friend and I loved this ridiculous backpack he had to wear at all times, Laertes (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) was intense and frightening at the end after he'd lost his sister and Ophelia (Siân Brooke) blew me away when she became mad over her father's death too. Oh and Karl Johnson's both roles (as old Hamlet's ghost and gravedigger) were a wonderful contradiction and gave another good impression what a good actor is capable of.

There was another thing that totally blew my mind. The set. OMG, the set was so fabulous! I only learned afterwards that its creator, Es Devlin, is one of the most famous stage designers ever. That woman did such an amazing job, but after having designed the Olympic closing ceremony in 2012 the Barbican stage was probably a piece of cake.
I'm seriously tempted to go and watch the play again in the cinema, not because of the story or BC, but because I want to look at that stage from different angles and to see it in the long shot. It's especially worth a closer look during the last two acts when the stage was put into the same rotten state Denmark was in (I'm still in love with that idea and how it started with a bang - see pic below).
Well, I tried to gaze as much around as possible in the quiter moments, but it was nearly impossible without missing on the acting - and that was a no go too. It would have been handy to have one pair of eyes more. ;p

Read more... )

The three hours of the performance flew by so fast and some things I only realised in hindsight. The colour scheming of the costumes for example: the whole Danish court was dressed in white at the beginning - except Hamlet who wore a dark jumper and a charcoal jacket (and the servants whose uniforms blended in with the walls). In the end everyone wore black - except Hamlet who had put on a white swordsman jacket for his duel with Laertes. My favourite Hamlet costume of all: the Bowie t-shirt and the soldier's trousers - it was a wonderfully mad mixture and fitted the acting so well.

I felt a bit sad for everyone else in the cast after the performance had finished because they didn't get the same applause as BC - thought they earned it as much. I really enjoyed the whole performance and think Lyndsey Turner did a great job.

At the end BC gave the audiance his now famous help the refugees speech and everyone spent their coins (or more) on the matter while leaving the theatre. So, time to leave the performance and this exchange of niceties behind, because I'm getting political from here on.

It's a great thing to give such a speech, but it is a shame that it needs an actor to make up for remorseless politicians who just refuse to make it easier for the millions of people on the run. I'm very glad that I'm living in a country who is much more welcoming to refugees at the moment. Finally we've seemed to have learned something from our inglourious history. It would be even better for our economy to stop earning money by selling arms, but I realise that's not going to happen anytime soon. And yes, I'm aware that not everyone is welcoming here either. Yet, I hope the majority of my fellow countrymen and countrywomen keep their hearts open and refugees welcome! AMEN and good night.
nia_kantorka: (hamlet)
Yes, I'm in London again. Yesterday I arrived at my friend's place in Bow and we had a great dinner in a pub around the corner. The crowds were a bit sad - England lost against Australia in the Rugby World Cup.

Today I've slept in (heaven!) and visited Tate Modern. Wanted to do that since I used the building and one of its exhibitions in a fic of mine and had some trouble to get the knack of the buildings interior design - there's only so much floor plans can do. Now, I know. LOL
I loved some of the shown art, as modern art is just my cup of tea. Yet, I was suprised that I loved the video installtions the most. All of them were very intruiging and meditative (not kidding).

Tomorrow I'm going to visit the British Museum and am looking forward to seeing the Rosetta Stone for real.
In the evening my friend and I are going to see Hamlet. I've heard good and bad about the performance, the stage, and the production. So far I can only say that everything seems to be perfectly organised and the Barbican's Box Office staff is so very helpful in corresponding emails. And that I love the production's posters - look at my shiny new icon and that lovely little Hamlet. So, yes, very curious how that goes.

There won't be any pictures from this London trip from me. I'm the worst person ever at taking pics - today I forgot my camera in my suitcase. Tomorrow it'll be there again. If you want to see a stage door picture, google it or browse tumblr - thousands of people have been there and done that. If someone's interested, I could write about my opinion on the play and performance - though a lot of people have written about the play, probably more eloquent than I ever could.

Have a good start into the new week!
<333
nia_kantorka: (AP snake)
Yeah, I'm mostly silent again. There are a few things that need my attention at the moment:


  • As I might have mentioned here or there *snicker*, I'm going to see Hamlet in London at the beginning of October and let's say I'm not very trained in listening to 16th century English. So, it's time for some preparation. LOL
    I'm reading Hamlet at the moment in a bilingual version, English first, German second (the German translation is from the early 19th century and it's been also some time since I read old-fashioned German too).


  • To get in sync with Mr C's baritone I'm listening to the first series of Cabin Pressure in the evenings. I got the CDs from [livejournal.com profile] candamira and another lovely friend who lives right across the street as a b-day present and wanted to start them right away. To find the time to just sit and listen to something has been a bit difficult for me, but the past two night's I've been managing and LMAO in doing so.


  • Actually, I learned that I'm able to do something else, as long as I don't have to think about what I do. So it's no problem to craft some thingies for my pay-it-forward campaign. I might not be able to finish them all till the end of October, but hope to manage until the end of 2015. And if fandom friends get a Christmas present that's not bad either, right?


  • Signed up for [livejournal.com profile] hp_nextgen_fest and am writing a little story for that. From now on Fridays will be mostly writing days again.


  • Of course I can't live without reading some things, and next to all Sherlock stories I read this one from HP fandom. And because I loved it and it hasn't got enough kudos and comments on AO3 and my [livejournal.com profile] crack_broom month finished before I've read the story, I need to rec it here.



Title: Promise
Author: [livejournal.com profile] drarryxlover (cathcer1984 on AO3)
Art: [livejournal.com profile] imera
Pairing(s) Harry/Scorpius
Rating: NR-17
Word Count: 20,290
Content/Warnings: Non-Graphic Voilence, Aftermath of Torture, Felching
Summary: Harry and Scorpius are Auror partners who were kidnapped and tortured. This is the story of how they heal.
Why I loved it: This story had it all: big feelings, hurt, angst, lots of comfort, love, a date (OMG, that date was so, so cute and sweet) and some sexy times to smooth the creases of the bumpy journey of our MCs.
And the art is lovely. Did I mention that I love b/w art? So, the artist's pics are a treat and such a good match for the story.
Even if it's not your favourite pairing ever, it is a great story accompanied by some wonderful art and - seriously guys - just 9 kudos as of today is a bit not good. So, please, go and leave some love. ♥

Well, it's past midnight here and I'm off to bed. I hope you're all well, and if not well, on the way to doing better.
Hugs and kisses!

Squeeee!

Jul. 1st, 2015 11:48 pm
nia_kantorka: (John Sherlock stare)
Ha! I'm such a lucky and happy girl. Yesterday I saw a post on the LJ of my relatively new friend [livejournal.com profile] indybaggins. She offered a ticket for this production of Hamlet this summer and fall in London. I saw about it on tumblr and looked more or less wistfully if tickets were available (nope, all sold out except for the daily tickets).

So, I saw this post at 5 pm, discussed the options with Mr Kantorka around 6-6.30 pm. As everyone with children (or friends/family with children) know, you have to plan ahead and make compromises about goodies like 'alone time'. My wonderful and most beloved man said I should go, grab the ticket and have a good time (♥). Later that evening I told Indy I'd take the ticket. Then I asked a friend from college if I could crash on her sofa (which I can :D) and booked a flight. Today I've payed for the actual ticket (didn't want to jinx it) and can tell you about it.

I did a lot of things 'on the spur of the moment' during my college days and it was great to make such a spontaneous decision again after years of none of that. Guess, who has been brimming with happiness the whole day? :D

- I've never seen such a famous actor giving a theatre performance. It's not such a tradition to do both (or start with one and then do the other) here and, tbh, we don't really have that many famous actors in Germany at all, no matter if they perform on stage, make movies or work in tv productions.
- I've never seen a Shakespeare play on stage (just saw films) and never in English (need to read it as preparation :D).
- I've never been to Barbican.
And now I'm going to London and SEE all of it!

I could squeeee a bit more, but after doing so the whole day I'm a bit exhausted. So, better go and catch up on the last (second last? will there be more?) Smooch fic.

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