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I have let myself get really behind with blogging about my theater blogging. It used to be pretty reflexive: write the review, bit.ly it to Twitter, cross post here and Facebook. But I'm trying to write under such tighter schedules now that I'm not keeping up, and my stats are suffering. Now, part of the reason I moved to a separate blog for my reviews was to keep people here from being bored by them: but hey, maybe some of you are interested. So I'll give a brief summary of the various plays I've seen lately, in order of awesomeness.

First, the short play "Lungs," done as part of the Paines Plough season at Shoreditch Town Hall. Who doesn't love creative use of derelict buildings, and how much better when it's a piece of writing so great you forget you're watching actors read a script? The other short play I saw with it ("One Day When We Were Young") was also really good, but "Lungs" moved me, and I'm pushing it here so anyone who wants to see it gets a chance.

Second, the three short works by Tennessee Williams being done at the Grange Hotel in Holborn (Green Eyes, The Travelling Companion, and Sunburst), billed as "The Hotel Plays." While the writing quality is uneven, the novelty of being in a hotel room that is the setting for each of these plays - and the proximity to the actors caused by this - cannot be understated, and at least one of the works really got me. It's also short and cheap and centrally located.

Quick and bizarre, Caryl Churchill's Ding Dong the Wicked is more of an exercise than a play, taking the same words of a play and running them in separate order with different context. It's probably the shortest, individually presented work I've ever seen, as it was only twenty minutes long (and also cheap at £10). Fun if you're the theater braniac type.

Utterly missable was the turgid Desire Under the Elms, which I only watched through to the end because I was promised it would be short. Imagine a high school theater company doing Oedipus in the style of Cabaret but with the sex needing to be represented "metaphorically." Argh! What a contrast with Lungs, which had a longer first act but seemed to take about ten minutes!

Finally, I did a preview of a concert that was a mix of Monteverdi madrigals and the poetry of John Donne - only the second time I've done truly original content on my blog. Very people read it, but as I was promoting an organization I like and I got free tickets to the show to boot, I didn't mind too much.

Anyway, I'm keeping busy, my spirits are generally good, but I think I need to get more exercise into the mix - as soon as my credit card statement closes this month, I'm rejoining the gym. And dying my hair, you know, gotta maintain myself in all ways I can control. :-)

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