Friday, 8 July 2011

Lyric Hammersmith - Arcadia

This is the last LAMDA performance we're attending, and I'm sad to say that it's not something we enjoyed. The first one, Daisy Pulls It Off, was great, so we had high hopes when we went to the second one, A Gloriously Mucky Business, which was a let-down. I made a point to check out the synopsis again before going as I didn't want to make a special trip to Hammersmith just to see a crap performance, but still, I must say I was disappointed.

The plot - an ambitious academic Bernard Nightingale thinks he's discovered a scandal of Lord Byron's which took place in a stately home, and he goes to that house to investigate it. It sounds interesting, doesn't it, but the script itself's very boring. Basically there are lots of scenes in this play which involve very lengthy conversations between (two) characters, and the conversations are all sort of academic discussions - at some point the character Valentine's explaining some mathematical (?) algorithm to another character, Hannah, and I didn't understand a bit of it (while S says it's the bit he understands most of). I really don't understand why they have to go into such detail - do they think the audience really care? Everything's very confusing, or perhaps it's just me who knows so little about everything. In general, I just found it very boring...

If I have to pick one thing that's of any slight significance in the play, I'd say it's in one scene where two polarised characters argue what's worth doing. The (artsy) academic thinks the process of finding out details is important, as are minor details, while the (scientific) academic thinks only the outcome is important - what goes on in the process is 'trivial', and of no significance at all. It's quite interesting to see how bipolar their opinion is, but I don't think that artsy people or people who do humanities subjects are generally 'trivial' and like looking into details. I, for one, have discovered that I hate going into details, or digging too deeply into something - that bores me and I would ask myself 'Why bother???'. Perhaps that just shows how I'm unsuitable for academic research!


  1. Interesting! We saw the play two years ago! Reposting from my old blog:

  2. T, for some reason it reminded me of Manly Pursuits (the book) - it's totally irrelevant but I couldn't stop thinking about it during the play! I think the performance was fine, it's probably the script I don't's too dense, with too many lengthy discussions on academic subjects, making it uninteresting in my opinion...


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