Apr. 23rd, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
A visit to the Old Vic last night to see Spacey and Goldblum in the three-hander, Mamet's Speed-The-Plow. Although I am unsure about whether this is a great play, I am certain that Spacey and Goldblum are masters of their craft. At times Spacey, playing huckster-hustler film producer Charlie Fox (presumably gay and on cocaine) moved a little too far with his physical mannerisms into reminding me of Graham Norton, but he was still a joy. Goldblum, however, who was on stage for the entire play, was a genius.

It's nice to see actors best known for film work showing that they can hack it on stage. We've known that about Spacey for some time, of course, and many kudos to the man for his valiant work in trying to keep the Old Vic as a functioning theatre. He has found a great partner/foil in Goldblum (here playing Bob Gould, the head of production at a film stuidio).

It was clear that the audience were aware that they were at an "event", rather than just a performance, and the five curtain calls reflected that. One to tell the grandchildren about, so to speak.


On the way back to Waterloo Station I glanced through the windows of the Wellington pub and noticed that Chelsea were one-nil down to Liverpool. I caught my train and, as I was walking down Silk Mills Path from the station, I heard a very loud "Oh, FUCK!" from the upstairs of Maggie's Café. I thought no more about it until thirty seconds later when I walked past The Anchor pub, where the final whistle was on the verge of being blown, 95 minutes in. "Liverpool 1, Chelsea 1" it said. Ahh, I thought to myself, that explains the "oh FUCK!" from a few seconds ago.

It reminded me of a time about a decade ago when, walking home from a drink in the Red Lion arranged by Mr Oakes because he didn't care about the Man Utd v Bayern Munich final, I heard a loud cry of joy as I neared the Crystal Palace tavern (in Dulwich rather than Crystal Palace, obviously). Ahh, I thought to myself, Man Utd have equalised. Thirty seconds later I actually passed the pub and another great cry of joy erupted. Ahh, I thought to myself. They've shown a replay of the equaliser.

Except, of course, they hadn't. Man Utd has indeed scored twice.


As I walked to the station yesterday I spotted an unusual road-sgn underneath the major roundabout sign - the one that indicates where you had to go to get to Dover, Central London, or Croydon. "Matalan", the sign said, pointing to the right.

In our land of information overload, too many roadsigns is one of our problems. What, for example, would a person unfamilar with English morés make of this sign? Is it a place?

There is an abundance of such signage in London for new property developments and the like, and I can see some excuse for this. If it's new, people won't know where it is. But the Matalan has been where it is (basically, a shit location) for as long as I have lived in Lewisham. If people don't know where it is by now, then it's Matalan's problem, and roadsigns aren't helpful -- they are advertising.

Every unnecessary roadsign makes it more likely that an important one will be missed. Perhaps I should put up my own sign underneath -- "Pete lives at Number 4".


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