~ Posted by Robert Butler, April 20th 2012
In yesterday's post, "Bradley Manning's Education", we noted that it's possible to watch Tim Price's new play "The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning", which is performed this week at Cardiff High School, on your laptop at home. The play starts at 7.30pm BST, and there's a sizeable online audience watching from Europe, Canada, America and Australia. Last night this blogger was one of them. The Cardiff audience filed in and took their seats—quite literally, as the seats were handed to them by actors in combat gear—and the internet audience watched through the CCTV cameras in the hall. Even on a computer screen, it was a gripping and illuminating piece of theatre. One thing was clear: to feel part of the theatre audience, whether you were 150 miles away or, in the case of many others, several thousand miles away, you had to watch it live. I only had one tiny criticism. At the end, the cast should have taken a bow in the direction of the CCTV cameras and their global audience. We would have clapped too.
Our last issue had Cate Blanchett on the cover. As Intelligent Life's editor, Tim de Lisle, blogged in "Cate on the Cover", "She looks like what she is—a woman of 42". The news that Blanchett's face hadn't been Photoshopped went viral appearing in many places from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post. This current issue has a very different look. In his editor's note, Tim writes, "The cover of Intelligent Life is always a face. In this issue, for the first time, that face is not human—although, as animal faces go, Djala the gorilla is more human that most." Again, the wrinkles have not been airbrushed. Djala looks like what he is—a dad of 20.
We've had two recent posts about "The King's Speech". Our literary editor, Maggie Fergusson, came across Colin Firth doing exactly the same stutter in a movie that he made 25 years ago. And our apps editor Simon Willis went to see the stage version in the West End and was surprised that it had "more short, bitty scenes, which instead of intensifying what works best on stage, dissipate it". Today it was announced that the stage version was closing less than two months after its premiere. The producers' statement said: "We believed that enough time had passed between the film and our opening. This clearly was not the case." Another British film that won a bunch of Oscars, "Chariots of Fire", moves into the West End in June. Enough time has surely elapsed between that film and its new stage version.
Robert Butler is online editor of Intelligent Life