Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Gawblessus, everyone

Fantastic. Patrick Stewart is amazing. I've never seen a one man show before, and it was even better than I expected. He came on, dressed casually, with 4 props - chair, stool, table, desk - and immediately began narrating A Christmas Carol, doing all the voices and actions of the characters. Absolutely stunning. I wish I had half of his energy, the man is as fit as a butcher's dog. I must have seen (without exaggeration here) millions and billions of adaptations of this story, and yet it still manages to raise a sniffle here and there. The audience went bananas at the end, instant standing ovation. If you can manage to get along before it finishes, I highly recommend it. It's on at the Albery Theatre until 31st December.

The other thing that impresses me about the original book itself is how perfectly constructed it is, from a movie point of view - which is probably why there are so many adaptations (that, and it's a great story, obviously). Act 1 has all the set up, and ends when Marley warns Scrooge that he's in for some disturbing visits. Act 2 has the three ghosts, showing the past, present, and future, and ends with Scrooge at his lowest point. Act 3 has Scrooge changing the future by becoming a new man, and a satisfying ending for everyone. Nearly everything I read now, I find myself unconsciously trying to work out how to adapt it to a movie script - what are the main events, characters, whose point of view to come at it from, have to get that scene in, that ending's got to go, and so on. I'm not in a position to adapt anything at the moment, unless I get commissioned to do one, but it's good practice as a purely mental exercise - even when it doesn't work, it helps to figure out why.


Patrick J. Rodio said...

We saw Stewart in The Tempest a few years back. He is an amazing performer. Great stuff.

chris soth said...

Stewart? Old School, brother and a living example of everything great about the old school. I've been wanting to see that Xmas Carol for years, but he never quite ends up in the same city as me for the holidays...

...and that STORY is one of the great ones to adapt -- Scrooged, if I recall it, was sort of fun, and the story certainly has a bearing on not just the best xmas film ever made, but best FILM EVER MADE, It's a Wonderful Life -- from a supernatural being coming to show a hero alternate realities to the scene where the hero confronts a gravestone, horrified to see the, yes, any exercise in taking inspiration from such an archetype is defitely a worthy use of time.

(I think Mr. Magoo also was in an adaptation thereof...)