Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Now is the winter of our discontent…


And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City.  The Bull actually rolled himself out of bed at 6:30 this morning, hitting the condo gym for a 5K (right at 25 minutes) and then doing some (ridiculously) light weights before heading into the office.  But speaking of light weights, I simply must comment on yet another fascinating workout routine that I experienced today.  I’m on the treadmill (rocking out to “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes – I quite enjoy that one), and this tiny little gal walks in wearing flip flops.  Knowing that she’s not there for cardio obviously, I assume she’s gonna do pilates or something like that.  Nope – instead she goes to the weight rack, grabs the lightest weights (5 pounds), does 10 curls with each arm, drinks some water, watches a bit of the news, and just when I think she’s going back for set two, she wipes her face with a towel and walks out.  Now seriously, I will grant you that she did more exercise than most folks at Fitness First (whose primary activity is changing clothes and putting on workout gear provided by the health club, grabbing a towel provided by the health club, and then walking onto the breezeway, pulling up a chair, and GOING TO SLEEP for at least an hour), but honestly – was it worth it to get up early and come down to the gym for a 2 minute workout?  If she looks like Sheena Easton in a month’s time, I guess I’ll have my answer…
I absolutely LOVE this poster - check out the lone green eye. Very haunting, similar to several of the lighting sequences throughout the play.

In other Singapore news, the “Festival of the Elephants” is currently underway.  There are 109 elephants spread across the city, each designed by a local or international artist.  They represent various themes and charities associated with Singapore, and soon each of them will be auctioned off to the public.  My favorite one ties to the stage play currently at the Esplanade Theater, and it is that show which is the feature of tonight’s blog.

US Transition peeps - tell me this doesn't bring back memories:
Last night was a big one for the Bull, as I officially crossed off my LAST to-do held over from London.  Last night I made my way to Esplanade (via the long way, for the record – I went to the wrong metro and barely made the show!), where I watched the final installment of the Old Vic’s 3 year “Bridge Project,” sponsored by none other than Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  Last year’s show, “The Tempest,” was bloody awful.  I was SO excited coming into it (to say nothing of the joy in saving 15% on tickets by being an employee of the sponsor), as “The Tempest” is one of my favorite Shakespeare shows.  However, the vision, the acting, the pace – everything was just dreadful.  They somehow transformed an intense, humorous show into something completely devoid of energy and speed.  And considering that it was the same director and artistic team this time around AND they were doing Richard III (one of the longest Shakespeare plays out there) unabridged, I was more than a little concerned.  However, the draw for me was not the show (which I did enjoy when reading it in Mrs. Ware’s English class), but rather the performers, as Kevin Spacey was playing the title role.

Spacey is the artistic director of the Old Vic in London, and he typically does at least one show a year (it was “Inherit the Wind” last year and I missed it, much to my chagrin).  When I found out he was coming to Singapore (via the really cool promo poster in black and white with his green eyes), I was thrilled, but the ticket prices almost scared me away (especially given the experience of last year).  However, I bit the bullet for a good seat, and I am here to tell you – it was worth EVERY penny. 
Simply put – the show was AMAZING – arguably the best Shakespeare rendition I’ve ever seen.  The lighting, drum sequences, staging, and choreography were all brilliant, and the staging was expertly crafted (a series of doors along all sides of the enormous stage).  Add in expert pacing (seriously – WHERE WAS THIS DURING THE TEMPEST?) and STELLAR performances by all involved, and you’ve got the trimmings for a great (even if 3.5 hour) night.  And then, to top it all off – add in two-time Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey, and you have one of your more memorable experiences in Singapore.

He was AMAZING – the body language (Richard III was a hunchback), the voice modulation, the sheer memory capacity required for those lines – you name it:  he was on top of it all.  I really can’t say enough good things about the show, as it was everything I’d hoped it would be and then some.  If you ever get the chance
to see him perform – DO IT.  You will NOT be disappointed.

Okay, that’s all the news that’s fit to print.  Chat tomorrow!


Sam and (now safely down in Sydney and back with the Aussies for a brief stint before her NEXT open water swim at Coogee) Jenny

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