KEANE! (And getting solicited?)

London Travel Blog

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    This morning I had the first of two days of an intensive for the final for my Acting 2 class, which is Commedia Dell’Arte and clowning-based... physical comedy, that kind of thing. I continue to be really, really terrible at balancing broomsticks on my fingers. I didn’t connect with very many people while I was in this class since I spent most of my time feeling like I was too advanced for this class. At least it made me feel like I’ve been learning something back at home. 
    After the class was over, I raced back to my room to change into a skirt so Josh and I could make it into the city for a show.
    We saw Keane, which is a play by Sartre about Edmund Keane, the actor. Anthony Sher played Keane, and JESUS that was one of the most amazing performances I’d seen in my whole life. What a complicated character to play. We had seats right up close because this was the first night of previews, and most of the people there were press people, which was awkward, but regardless, I was very, very happy that I got to squeeze this in before.... well... the end.... :(

    OH, what a story this is: So, I really wanted to wait for Anthony Sher after the show was over to tell him I enjoyed his work. Usually I only do this if they are somebody I know or if they are famous (well, Anthony Sher is very famous in the world of Shakespearian acting, but to the non-theatre-nerd I wouldn’t say he is), however, I really, really felt like I needed to express to him how moved I was by his performance. I thought that maybe, in some small way, he might appreciate hearing that. So Josh (rather reluctantly, I’m sure) came with me to find the stage door in the alley behind the theatre. There was one other middle-aged dude standing there waiting as well. He was holding a book written by Sher. Man, he was even nerdier than me. Anyway, we waited out there awkwardly for ever and ever and ever. All the other shows across Soho were letting out. The night was unfolding. An hour passed. I started feeling really guilty about making Josh wait in the middle of this alley with me.
    Then weird things started happening. All the drunk people were running around in the street, and these two guys approached me and told me I was pretty, etc, etc, asked me what I was up to, and moved on. Then this one staggering European dude (I use the word “European” on purpose to distinguish him from the British folks because many British folks consider themselves a separate community of people) walks up to the building wall near where we’re standing, drops his trousers, and pees ALLLL over the wall. It was super gross, and we had to move out of the way to avoid it coming our way. Some people in the bar above and behind us start pointing and laughing. He then goes across the street, completely unfazed, and said something to me about how the woman across the street thinks she looks like her mother, but doesn’t really. Then he left.
    After the urination incident, my two drunk friends returned. They came up to me again, and one of the tried to ask me something in mumbled tones. I couldn’t hear him, so I kept asking him to repeat what he was saying. Finally it dawned on me: “HOW MUCH?”
    SERIOUSLY?!?!?!? At first I laughed. Here I was, wearing a skirt past my knees, flat shoes, a high-neck shirt and  long-sleeved black jacket. Sure, I was standing on a street corner in the middle of Soho at 11:00 in the evening, but that is certainly no reason to assume that a girl like me is trying, or even willing, to have sex for money. Once I found some words I responded with, “Excuse me???” He repeated, “How much, baby? What are you into?” I explained to him that they were confused and that he should probably go away. They did. I kept looking to Josh, my male friend who I’d assume would be there to protect me in such situations, but he was just laughing at me. Thanks a lot :) Regardless to say, that was an unforgettable experience.

    FINALLY Mr. Sher emerged from the stage door, completely ready to jump into the car waiting for him behind us. There was no way my new friend and I were going to let him do that. We quickly asked him to sign some things, and I tried to stick in some comments about how I really enjoyed his work, only managing to sound stupid, I’m sure. Aaaaand that was that. After all that waiting. Man, what a bizarre few hours.
    Before tubing it back to Oakwood, we grabbed some sushi a Yo! Sushi revolving bar in Soho just as they were closing to top off our evening out.
londonstudent says:
Three years ago, at the Edinburgh Fringe, I saw the first two parts of The Tragedian Trilogy, a one-man show by Alister O'Loughlin tracing Keane's entire career. It was brilliantly done, and well worth seeing if you ever get the chance! Obviously Keane's story has a lot of appeal for playwrights ...
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience after the show, and so near to the end of your stay, too!
I'm just back from a wonderful TravBuddy meet-up in the Netherlands, where we all went sailing. Can't remember the last time that I had such fun, or got so wet :)
Posted on: Aug 06, 2008
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