Tag Archives: colchester

Zemlinsky – Brodsky Quartet


Last night, after listening for a solid week to their new powerful ‘complete string quartet’ Zemlinsky CD, I attended a concert by the great Brodsky Quartet at a full Mercury Theatre, Colchester, as they vivaciously stood around the cellist, in front of effectively severe acoustic panels…. & Zemlinsky, through his transcendent fourth quartet, came alive and hovered above their heads. Berg eat your heart out.image
More from me later after this Wow! effect has worn off.

They also memorably performed with internal commands in its last movement, the Death and the Maiden quartet by Schubert. I do, however, prefer his D804 and D887 quartets.

And an early op 18 Beethoven. Vivacious in a different way.

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Haunting Julia – Alan Ayckbourn

I saw a matinee production of HAUNTING JULIA, a ghost story play at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, this afternoon. A play by Alan Ayckbourn. Marvellous.
Anyone else know this play? The scary sound effects were enhanced by building work at the theatre. Seriously.
It appealed to me, too, as it was effectively a Horror story with a classical music theme – of which I was unaware when producing THE FIRST BOOK OF CLASSICAL HORROR STORIES! it even mentioned Stockhausen.

Scary and humorous – sometimes simultaneously.

Thought-provoking, too.

The three actors were great – Duncan Preston, Joe McFadden and Richard O’Callaghan – and must have spent a long time learning endless lines!

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A Slight Ache & The Lover

Last night, I saw a performance of these two plays written by Harold Pinter at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester. A Slight Ache (1958) and The Lover (1962).

Creditable performances with great scene changing (every night presumably – phew!)

A Slight Ache was ‘a wasp and a bullock’ alienation and nemonymity for a Golden Pond couple, and someone lurking eerily behind their garden gate in a Robert Aickman like fashion.  Memorable scenes. Great acting.  Left an Ivy Compton-Burnett flavour.  Match girl resonances.

The Lover may have been original in 1962 about role-playing between a young husband and wife.  But others have done it since. Raunchy in places with a James Bond Dr No feel of the 1962 I recall.  Bullock alienation again.  No sign of a wasp. Both plays could have done without the music.  Loved Gus Gallagher’s FAWLTY Towers antics from time to time. He is a great actor. Gina Isaac, too. 

Themes seem to percolate. Alfred J Prufrock?  Themes in retrospect a bit simplistic. A great evening.

[Incredibly, there was a young couple in front of me in the audience doing their own versions of ‘The Lover’ role playing. They didn’t sit together during the first play after their own brief  role-play before the first play started. Then they sat together after the interval during the second play after a different personal role play together.  Enhanced my evening’s interest.]

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