Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Dog, Mouse, Duke, and Bean

Interesting singing rehearsal today. Sam the dog was the star. Again. We may just retire, and leave him to it as a one-dog show. He sings along, and today was clearly reading the music as well. Next week's concert in Stansbury will be video recorded, barring accidents such as tripping over tea trolleys or getting lost on the way there. Don left early today, so me and Denis practised our planned trio as a duet; the Song of the Volga  Boatpeople - wait, that can't be right - Boatmen. And did you know? -  there were women too, hauling those barges on the River Volga in 19th Century Tsarist Russia.

Gwenda said she caught another mouse. At the hardware store I asked  for a mousetrap, the newer plastic-bodied kind, and the lady said they only had them in packs of two. But, I said, I've only one mouse.

Saw The King's Speech, the movie, again when it came to our Town Hall. Great performances from the two principals (Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth) but Helena Bonham Carter plays a worthy Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, becoming George VI's Queen, whom we knew as the late Queen Mum, and who made it to the ton-up in age. Australian Guy Pearce was a stand-out as the Prince of Wales who is then the abdicating Edward VIII and thereafter Duke of Windsor with his femme fatale the twice divorced Wallis Simpson. Not that the role was so huge, but it was amusing to recall the same actor as one of the drag queens in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I think it's a mark of all top actors (both sexes) to perform widely varied roles.

Talking of actors, Maureen - no mean performer herself - had a harsh word for Rowan Atkinson and I can sympathize with non-lovers of the awful Mr Bean (who is modeled on French mime Jacques Tati's character Monsieur Hulot). However, Bean is not Atkinson - great collaborator with the brilliant Richard Curtis, and I invite everyone to take a look at Atkinson's beautifully disciplined and restrained role in 'Love Actually': he's the jewellery counter salesman to Alan Rickman's purchaser, with Emma Thomson as the cheated-on wife. Or the amazingly good final episode of the Blackadder series, set in the trenches of WWI. At least I know how to annoy Maureen ... just give her a Mr Bean doll, or perhaps a DVD.

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