Thursday, August 11, 2005

A little culture

A friend emailed the other day saying the girlfriend of a friend of his was in a play and did we want to go see it. He reckoned it was likely to be "a bit amateurish", but cheap. It was in the Soho Theatre at 6:30, which would make it very convenient for me on my way home from work.
The play was called Preacherosity and the friend's friend's girlfriend - Kristen Alexander was playing a character called Angela whom she described as "equally interested in happy hour and Bible study". Well, that sounded just the ticket. It reminded me of a girl I knew at UT... although her name was...well, let's call her Cally. Cally was the roommate of a friend from my hometown and we all lived in the same dorm. Cally used to go to Monday night Bible study at the Baptist student union (I believe they were Baptists, but forgive me Baptists if I'm wrong) and then she used to head straight down from there to the Monday night beer bust at the Annex (a fine establishment no longer in existence). Now because we were living in Massey Hall, (which I see is now an air conditioned sorority dorm!!, it was not so well appointed in my day) and Cally didn't want to have to walk all the way back, she used to carry her personalized large plastic beer cup decorated with paint pens down to the Bible study. I don't know how she used to explain it, or if nobody asked, but that's what she did every Monday night.

Cally later came down with a dose of the clap for which she received a bunch of anti-biotics from the student health center. About the same time she was seeking treatment for this condition, she took up with a new steady boyfriend whom she was quite serious about. My friend (her roommate) and I suggested she refrain from sex until the course of anti-biotics was complete (too late) and then begged and pleaded with her to tell him and thus avoid the risk of continual cross-infection. Cally didn't want to tell him, but when she finally did, according to her in the midst of cross-infection, his response was "I'on't care" and he continued about his business.

I have seriously digressed. Anyway, it wasn't a play but a reading. It was directed and acted and the actors moved around but they read from their script and needless to say it was a little rough, but really very well done. The play was basically about a search committee at a Baptist Church in Texas trying to find a new preacher to replace one who left under a bit of a cloud. And a strange Palidin like person arrives to show them all the error of their ways and the play ends with a bit of uplifting casting off of sins and moral renewal. It was actually pretty funny. The playwright was there and he was looking for financial backing to stage this play in London.
Now I really enjoyed the play, and Kristen was great (if she wasn't I wouldn't have mentioned her name), really funny and her Southern accent was very good. I imagined that this play might go down very well at the Dinner Theatre run in the summer time at the state park just outside the town where I went to high school. (My cousin sometimes acts there and she is so funny. I mean gut-bustingly funny. She would have been ideal as the hard-nosed Texas businesswoman character). But I'm not sure Preacherosity is just the thing for London, where we like our religion cynical and in small doses. (For example, the last "religious" play I went to was Jerry Springer, the Opera which was amazing, but even a heathern like myself was surprised by the level and creativity of the blasphemy this production contained.) I did not share this view with the play's author, but good luck to him.

I didn't know it until I got there, but the play was part of a festival put on by the North American Actors' Association, basically to showcase NAAA talent, and it was the next to last reading they were putting on. I went back the next night with the Vol-in-Law to see one written by Amy and David Sedaris. 'Cause I'd heard of David Sedaris, of course. Anyway, that reading of a play called The Book of Liz was also really funny, but incredibly silly, just the right kind of silly. It's a shame it didn't get more publicity, because as far as I could tell the Vol-in-Law and I were the only people there who weren't friends of the cast.

1 comment:

Derek Anderton said...

What it could be useful for?