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January 21, 2004

Filler 15

Much of today was a serious fucking nightmare. A work-related nightmare, which doesn't really bear going into in detail. The upshot is that something very costly doesn't work properly, and just at the moment it looks like it never will and there may well not be anything that we can do about it. It isn't my fault -- but then I would say that. In any case, fault or not, it is my responsibility. And you know how much I hate that.

This on top of not sleeping well, for no good reason, which left me a little frayed around the edges.

Ian had his own reasons for being restless, since he was awaiting the arrival of his new baby:

Yes, the gleaming upright he bought last summer proved inadequate to his rekindled obsession and has been traded in for a grand. Not a full-size concert grand, but not a baby either, a pretty hefty addition to the flat.

Frankly, I wasn't too keen on this development, and having the bloody thing manhandled around the place this morning while I was grappling with imminent career catastrophe did nothing to improve my mood. But things are calmer now, and I have to admit it's not so bad; quite handsome in its shiny black way. I'm sure I'll get used to it.

The reason things are calmer now is that we took the afternoon off, along with Marching Boys choreographer Kym, to see the first half of His Dark Materials at the National. Me and Ian both started out pretty weighed down with work stress, but the show soon managed to make us forget that. We all enjoyed it, especially Ian who, probably alone in the whole theatre, had not read the books. Some things work better than others -- the set is splendid, the puppetry variable but effective, the fight scenes weak -- and the pacing is uneven, with too much infodump in the first act and too much rush in the second, but on the whole it was a fine afternoon out and we're very much looking forward to part two next week.

Ourselves aside, the audience was split maybe 70-30 between school parties and the over-60s. It's been sold out for ages (which is why we ended up at this matinee -- when I booked in early December this was the only remaining chance in the whole run to see part one before part two), so it was odd to see a big block in the middle of the circle left empty -- I guess some very pissed off coachload of spotty teenagers broke down en route. At least there don't seem to be any SCHOOL OUTING MOTORWAY CARNAGE headlines in the news.

And in the unlikely event that anyone is waiting for IQ3, it's going slowly but will be along before too long, honest guv.
Posted by matt at January 21, 2004 08:15 PM


i am very jealous of the grand. looks beautiful.

of course, i am sitting here writing this from work. i am having one of "those" days, and much my day was a serious fucking nightmare.

but nevermind, i've never heard of "his dark materials." i will look for the books?

bye. ;)

Posted by: kurt at January 22, 2004 10:35 PM

Sorry about the day, kurt. Obviously I empathize. Hope this one is better.

HDM is a trilogy of books by Philip Pullman -- Northern Lights (US: The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass -- that seems to have got itself a reputation as the thinking person's Harry Potter, though it has little in common with the wretched boy wizard. Recently turned into an epic 2-part, 6 hour play here.

Posted by: matt at January 23, 2004 11:18 AM

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