I have imbibed so much culture this week that I’ve even started to butter my crackers with a decidedly artistic flair. Do you think they’ll invite me to exhibit my Crispbread-and-Bird motifs at the Reykjavík Arts Festival next year??
Anyway, just got back from the theatah – went to see a play called Partners in Crime by Eric Emmanuel Schmidt, which was a big disappointment. Particularly as one of the best plays I’ve seen in the last few years – the Enigma Variations – was also by Schmidt. Which is perhaps why I expected more. And was let down.
Anyway, this was a Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf-esque piece about this couple and the dissection of their relationship, which went on for 90 minutes with no intermission and was incredibly tedious because it was so absolutely obvious that the problem was the wife’s alcholism and the husband’s enabling. She just got more and more smashed and he got more enmeshed and entwined, and in all this drama Schmidt tried to make some incredibly highbrow intellectual statements about love and hate and fidelity and jealousy and such, attempting to turn the alcoholic mind into something deep and profound. YAWN!! I mean, my eyes glaze over three minutes into a discussion with someone who’s drunk and within ten minutes I’ve normally had enough and left the scene; meanwhile this was like being forced to sit and listen to a rambling alcoholic for 90 minutes, in the dark, without talking back [not that there’s ever anything to say, they never listen anyway] and without being able to stand up and leave [without inconveniencing a lot of people].
To summarize: I wouldn’t recommend it. I would recommend, however, Cheek by Jowl’s production of Cymbeline, which was awesome [although I understand that some of this country’s Shakespeare directors were underwhelmed, lahdedah] – filled with substance, gore, pathos, and incomparable humour [I thought I’d fall over laughing when Cloten grabbed the microphone and started singing]. But then I’m such a fan of The Bard. Truly I am. It takes serious amateurs to botch one of his plays, in my humble view.
Am I forgetting something? Why yes – we saw an amazing classical recital in Salurinn last Monday by the astronomically talented Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, who despite being only 23 is probably the best classical pianist Iceland has ever produced. He’s currently finishing his Master’s at Juilliard and from there he’s going to take the classical music world by storm, mark my words. He did an absolutely stunning recital of Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ Sonata in F moll op. 57 that was so intense that it had everyone virtually on the edge of their seats. How anyone can play the piano that well [not to mention remember so many notes off by heart!] is a mystery to me. Plus, I happen to know that he’s a Really Nice Guy.
YES YES BUT WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER!?
There’s been a fairly miserable wind afflicting us these past few days. Yesterday it was tolerable because it was sunny; today it’s been windy and raining with that damp kind of cold that gets inside your bones … not pleasant in the least. Spring is taking forever to turn into summer and in fact has hardly shown its true spring-face yet. A few minutes ago we had wind and sleet [!] – right now 2°C [36F – whimper] and sunrise was at 3:58 am, sunset at 10:52 pm.