Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Weekend of Great Expectations

I'd been meaning to treat myself to a day off from the past hectic week of unpacking from my London/Paris adventure, laundering and repacking for a Medical Commission obligation in Olympia, reading Edith Wharton on my Kindle while waiting on standby at Sea Tac, and unpacking and laundering once more. I had solid reasons to celebrate!

 Amazon has released my debut co-creation with Publishing Syndicate: Not Your Mother's Book. . .On Travel, plus I'd whipped up a piece for the firm's monthly Wow Principles newsletter, "Seven Reasons Why Compiling an Anthology is a Trip."

Here's links to these two accomplishments...and, yes, I'm bursting with pride:

The Wow Principles newsletter is are the benefits of subscribing:
Every month we'll e-mail you a direct link to our FREE e-newsletter, which features tips for better writing, ideas for getting published and managing your writing career, updates on new anthology story submission opportunities, as well as other sales opportunities for your writing. See the most current and all of the back issues below.

Benefits of subscribing?
Although you can access the most current issue of The Wow Principles without joining our mailing list, as a member we will notify you the moment the newest Wow Principles e-newsletter is published each month and provide you a direct link to it. And you can easily opt-out at anytime.

And when something really hot comes along?
When Publishing Syndicate needs ten last-minute stories for one of our upcoming anthology titles, you'll be one of the first to hear about it, but only if you've signed up for our FREE Wow Principles e-newsletter!

So this Dickens devotee decided to corral her fellow adventurer, Jane Conn, and spend a luxurious day in Spokane, lunching at the Davenport Towers exotic Safari Room and seeing the SpectiCast HD filming of London's West End production of Great Expectations at the Bing Crosby Theater at the Fox.
The Safari Room's 11 am to 2 pm specials, "6 for $6" are still offered, so I savored the curried lentil soup accompanied by a garden salad. Great fare for the price, and just filling enough for someone who is trying to trim down a smidgeon before embarking for England in July. (I'm hoping to fit back in to some summer clothes from a few years back!)

Jane and I were astonished that only a handful of Dickens fans showed up to see the filmed drama. I had expected college English profs and students to crowd in, despite Spokane having become a major sports mecca over the weekend, what with the NCAA and Gonzaga seeded #1 in the west, a major national volleyball tournament plus a hockey game. We had the theater almost to ourselves, but didn't regret the 65 mile drive to town. 

Here's what the critics had to say about this first ever London staging of one of Dickens' most popular novels:

Spectacular Adaptation Translates Spirit and Humanity of Dickens's Classic Novel to the Stage

What you need to know:
A stage version of Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations has opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End. Graham McLaren directs Scottish playwright Jo Clifford's adaptation.

Blacksmith's boy Pip is transformed into a London gentleman with the aid of a mysterious benefactor. But even as Pip's fortunes rise, he is haunted by his love for the beautiful, unattainable Estella whom he visited at Miss Havisham's house as a child.
Paul Nivison stars as adult Pip and Paula Wilcox (Chrissie from the 1970s TV hit Man about the House) plays Estella's ghoulish guardian Miss Havisham. Jack Ellis appears as Pip's lawyer Jaggers and Chris Ellison as the convict Magwitch. Runs until 1 June.
What the critics like
Jo Clifford's version of Great Expectations shrugs off the many screen adaptations to create "pure theatre", says Libby Purves in The Times. Clifford wisely drops several strands from the novel, but the heart is there, and "the culmination thrilling".

Graham McLaren's production is "a resounding success," says Tim Walker in the Daily Telegraph. It communicates, in two hours and 20 minutes, "the spirit and humanity of the novel" but also "works as a stand-alone piece of drama".
This Great Expectations is "a spectacular affair", says Tamara Vos for the Londonist. It's a "Tim Burton-esque take" on a classic, with an original score, an onstage fire, and "the set is absolutely stunning".
What they don't like
It's an "inventive" production, but one that "sells Dickens's great novel dismayingly short", says Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph. The bones of the story are there and there are "gripping passages" but "the narrative often seems hurried and the characterisation crude".

I found the production absolutely astounding. Then I returned home to watch Gonzaga on TNT try to edge its way into the Sweet Sixteen. I was astounded once again as the Zags fell to Wichita State 76-70. Great expectations dashed for the sweethearts of the Inland Empire!

I cling, though, to my remaining expectations for this weekend. Yes, I have to launder once again...but I have two stories in mind to get written and submitted, and will begin at least one today...perhaps a story on my recent European venture with Jane...she's come up with a title: "Our Greater Journey." And another about waiting at airports through endless cancellations and standbys...and why it pays to have a fully-charged Kindle!

No comments:

Post a Comment