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So I think I'm changing direction in my reviews. For a long time, I've particularly admired the writing style of Clement Crisp, the dance critic for the Financial Times, whose writing style encompasses both 50 years of lived dance history and a deep rooting in Western Civ. I frequently find myself looking up his throwaway references, which come from Greek mythology, the Renaissance, the court of Versailles, and a million other reference points.

In the last month I've found myself thinking more about how what I'm seeing is relating to each other and to the cultural milieu I'm living in. Pyjama Game isn't just a revival of a 50s musical: it's a paen to a destroyed culture of American union power played out in a society where union busting is going on right up the street, at the theater where War Horse is being performed. Fings Ain't Wot They Used to Be is just as much about what has been lost in Stratford in the last forty years (both the theater culture that birthed it as much as the obliterated neighborhood housing the theater) as it is a fun tales of guys and molls; Birdland, while ostensibly about the corrosiveness of celebrity culture, to me was an ode to joy to the vibrancy of London's state-subsidized theater scene.

Then there were plays that touched on my personal interests. Balance of power (executive/legislative/judicial) came out in the brilliant King Charles; "could Zola's La Bete Humaine be a good ballet" during a performance of Sweet Violets. King Charles contrasted both with Handbagged (Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher) and Wolf Hall - how the power of the king has changed!

Unfortunately I'm struggling to get my writing to keep pace with my watching, and even getting a post here is difficult for me right now. I like the turn I'm taking now with more personal criticism based on the milieu I'm living in - no Oxbridge background but plenty of engagement in the life surrounding me. I hope I can keep it up.

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