1. I just got back from seeing Richard III at the OFS. It was completely bloody amazing and the director (Natalie Holden) is a genius. The next President of the Oxford Union (them of the faked term cards scandal, now with added Jude Law!) was there. He was Richmond. In a shock twist of fate, he is infinitely less impressive than the next President of America. His name is Charlie Holt, and while he was slaughtering the one-handed baroque gremlin that was the white-haired Jack Chedburn, a mobile phone fell out of his costume. What an idiot. If I was Holden, I’d shoot him. Still, probably a thoroughly nice person &c &c &c. Next term is going to be a dreadful one for any Oxford director attempting to cast a lot of male actors; Don Carlos and The Recruiting Officer [why? why?] (both at the Playhouse) each need hundreds of the blighters, and tonight someone told me that there’s a bid going in for Twelve Angry Men (are we now going to have years of plays about trials? Please no). My informant expressed the ‘I’m-a-male-feminist-no-really’ hope that this would lead to lots of good plays with women springing up in response. I hold out little hope; there’s a production of Playhouse Creatures later this term (there was a dreadful production last year, and a rather better one in 2006), but otherwise the last all-female production I was in was a Burton-Taylor slot for Minghella’s Whale Music in May 2007. I mean, I was IN that.
2. I am becoming obsessed with the Goldberg Variations. They are bright white rain in your head (er, and… if you’re me that’s a good thing? I suppose. White and green and yellow).
3. I have to go and preview an opera tomorrow. I am sort of dreading it. I know nothing about opera and fear that whatever I have to say about this one will be expressed only in the most illiterate terms.
4. I re-read The Mystery of Edwin Drood today (and yup, I HAVE seen the Solve-It-Yourself Broadway Musical, only in Edinburgh, and it was awesome. More musicals should involve crazed Gothic opium addicts and audience participation at the same time. Especially if they’re not making the effort to be on ice). Why do I find John Jasper attractive? Why? Anyway, it is relevant to TWO of my classes next week, so clearly I am made of win. Er, sleep now.
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.