Friday, 14 May 2010

Becoming a groupie

When I first met B husband he was a Barrister and I was a lowly articled clerk.  Following a whirlwind romance, we settled down in Tooley St. to a rather good life.  We both enjoy the theatre although in BM's case, sometimes perhaps 'endure' is a better word, and being childless, footloose and fancy-free at the time, could avail of half-price tickets on the day and go on a whim.

As politics overtook the career at the Bar and children overtook BM's career, that obviously changed.   B husband however, as Leader of the Council would from time to time receive tickets to opening nights at the Old & Young Vic, and the Globe but usually went alone because of BM's childcare difficulties.      I accompanied him to the Globe once and even then, without much grace.  Despite the freebie, the babysitter was pricey and I couldn't help thinking of at least 5 other ways I would prefer to spend a precious evening out together.  For me the problem with mediocre or bad theatre is that it too often feels contrived and silly:  a room full of adults sitting watching other adults pretend to do something and I went fully anticipating such an evening.  BM was not in a good mood.

Anyway, it was Mark Rylance's last production as Artistic Director and he was performing the role of Lady Olivia in Twelfth Night.  Of all the plays I have accompanied B husband to over the years, before and after Southwark, this was the most memorable evening of theatre I have ever witnessed.  BM forgot the cold and was transfixed !  In the way of unintended consequences, the experience did not so much inspire a love or better understanding of Shakespeare (although it did), as a devotion to Mark Rylance and all of his work.   Subsequently, saw him in 'Boeing Boeing', followed by 'Jerusalem' last year, also award-winning and (DV) will go to see him in 'La Bete' with Joanna Lumley later this Summer (provided both of us get jobs).

So an entirely unexpected consequence and highlight of B husband's political career is BM's late development as a Mark Rylance groupie!

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