Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tennant and the Lodger

There's been so much social and cultural activity since my last blog.

Christmas began with the SAS "Office party" at a good bistrot in Stroud - a very happy occasion, especially since I'd finished all the Troubadour edits. I liked Stroud too - such an attractive town, with independent shops.

Christmas continued with Saturday and Sunday - two special meals and present exchanges with youngest daughter and partner and then the bit of family that has 2 little boys. Lots of nice food and presents. Freddie (3) played a game with me that one of our sofas was a boat and the carpet a crocodile-infested sea. George (one and a half) is a fluent speaker if only we knew in what language.

We had a very full day in London planned for our anniversary yesterday. We saw the 21- foot painting by Burne-Jones called Arthur sleeps in Avalon (Tate Britain), visited Southwark cathedral, had an Indian meal and saw Hamlet at the Novello. We WOULD have gone on the Golden Hinde too but it was unaccountably closed - v. annoying as it was City of Ships related.

I heard Poulenc's Gloria, Messaien's l'Ascension and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms repeatedly on a CD in my car. And Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, as ! wanted to check something. Marcus de Sautoy asked for the opening of the fourth door on Desert Island discs and they played the Fifth, which is much finer, but still.

The Burne-Jones was very fine too,if you can suspend disbelief and enter that sort of Peter Jackson/Lothlorien world, which I can.

Hamlet was without the planned Prince of Denmark, David Tennant having had to have a back operation. I wondered what all the teenage girls in our row would make of it without him. The understudy, Edward Bennett, was adequate, but lacking in charisma. Patrick Stewart was more disappointing, fluffing his lines. I thought he should have been a great Claudius but he wasn't.

Gertrude was excellent and even the Ophelia OK (such an unrewarding a difficult role). Still I always sigh when the actor's clothes come off - it seems such a failure of imagination on the director's part. My husband assures me she kept bra and pants on but they were flesh-coloured and fairly revealing.

I'm reading The Lodger by Charles Mitchell about Shakespeare's years in Silver Street; it is absolutely excellent so far.

I hope enough of us are well enough to have a Christmas; Rhiannon has flu, I have a cough and have lost my voice - we just wait to see what the others bring with them today!

Merry Christmas everyone!


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