June 3rd, 2008


Chinese opera tonight!

I'm excited, tonight we're going to see the first third of the Peony Pavillion tonight at Sadler's Wells with robot_mel! Beforehand I think we'll be trying New Culture Revolution to kind of get in the moodn (and the menu _does_ look good). It won't be as pleasant as actually being served dim sum and tea while we're watching the show like we had at Slippery Mountain but I think the artistry will be much higher ... and we'll have good seats since I managed to rebook us for the £15 floor seats that I saw on offer.

I was good and went to the gym today and even almost made it to 25 minutes. I did 3 minutes of rowing, 14 minutes of biking (while reading the very first Stephen Dobyns Saratoga mystery, though I didn't get very far in), and then ... well, it was going to be 8 minutes on the ski machine, but I got really worn out around five and just barely made it to seven. Gah, so tired. Then it was test test test this afternoon and be a good little monkey. I've been exercising enough that I've needed to buy a few new clothes, so when shadowdaddy returns from his trip to America I'll have some new gear well suited to all of the rather unladylike sweating I've been doing.

Peony Pavillion part one - Suzhou Kunqu Opera company - Sadlers Wells

Well! This was a good night out. I was really drawn in by the great acting and found myself not even reaching for the bag of fortifying candy I had ready to help get me through the show - all the way through the TWO HOUR LONG FIRST FIVE ACTS. I have to say, if you didn't understand Chinese culture at all, it probably would have been a bit of a frustrating show - there were no acrobatic bit at all, just a starry eyed teenager mooning away for her dream love. But, you know what? I totally bought it. And the little bit of Chinese I've still got stuffed in my head helped me read about a third to a half of the characters (with the translation in English to point the way) and I was able to get a lot of enjoyment out of the really impressive poetry. The whole thing was basically done in sonnets - not just iambic pentameter, but proper Chinese poems (except for the maid's talk, which seemed to be more vernacular). Two more nights to go, and while I _will_ be getting hot tea prepared for us for intermission, I'm actually pretty enthused about it - though I wish they'd actually stuck to the schedule and let us out a little closer to 10:30 instead of at about 11.

I'll try to do more of a writeup on my theater blog tomorrow, but just a note: tomorrow (and Saturday night) takes place in hell, and you can get 15 pound tickets for stalls seats if you're interested! Our seats were GREAT and I was able to count the flowers on the fairy costumes in the third scene (my favorite of the night).