No Man’s Land
Hirst is an alcoholic upper-class litterateur who lives in a grand house presumed to be in Hampstead, with Foster and Briggs, respectively his purported amanuensis and man servant (or apparent bodyguard), who may be lovers. Spooner, a “failed, down-at-heel poet” whom Hirst has “picked up in a Hampstead pub” and invited home for a drink, becomes Hirst’s house guest for the night; claiming to be a fellow poet, through a contest of at least-partly fantastic reminiscences, he appears to have known Hirst at university and to have shared mutual male and female acquaintances and relationships. The four characters are named after cricket players (wikipedia).
There is something really satisfying about ticking off an item on your bucket list. Not in the sense of keeping score of showing off but in the sense of achieving something or making something a reality and then getting this happy, accomplished feeling. This happened to me last October when I was in London to attend a charity event. A bunch of us had decided to go to a play called ‘No Man’s Land‘ with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen at the Wyndham Theatre the day before the event started (see a nice review of the play here).
The story of the play may not have been completely my cup of tea and maybe I didn’t *get* everything either, but that didn’t matter to me. What mattered was seeing Patrick Stewart on stage, something I’ve wanted for a long time. Seriously, I would go and see him read the phone book if that was what it took to see him in his ‘natural habitat’, haha! An added bonus, and a big bonus at that, was that Ian McKellen was the other main character in the play. Woah! Captain Picard and Gandalf, Xavier and Magneto…on one stage! Mind blown. And we were lucky, because Patrick Stewart had been sick and hadn’t performed a few days before in that same week.
The subtle acting, the over the top acting, the witty acting, the fun they were having, the chemistry between these real-life-friends, the facial expressions, the creative use of intonation to deliver the lines even more brilliantly than they were probably written…it was incredible! I have no words to describe it more eloquently than that. What I’m left with is a deep reverence for the sheer brilliance of these two actors, even more than I already had. Brilliant!
Afterwards we waited at the stage door and all four actors came out! We didn’t have to wait that long even. I got signatures from all of them in my playbill. So cool! The actors went through the line quite quickly, but it wasn’t mayhem or anything. Everyone was civilised and waited kindly to have their items signed.
What a night!
Here are some pictures I took. They aren’t the best quality, as I took them with my (old) phone and the lighting was poor, but it’s just to give an idea 😉