Sunday, 19 August 2012


Having been told to expect the unexpected and to dress like a frog or a princess for a free ticket, I hadn't expected to be emerge disappointed, and just a little bit cross, from Tete a Tete's production of 'Anais Nin' at the Riverside Studios' opera festival.
Regarding the production, I was surprised by its lack of sensuality. As for the festival, I was taken aback at the entrance by a rather bossy woman – full of self importance and seemingly on the board of almost everything cultural – who was doling out advice to my son without listening.  
Such a big difference from America where everybody in the arts is encouraged by positive words, not told "Oh, your voice won't be ready for years, and it is such a tough business"  
Come on, we all know that? What did she want? Charlie to work at Safeways? This is my lovely son she was talking about. And perhaps she should have reserved her opinions for the production.
To me, the show was lacklustre and tame. The music written by the famous composer Louis Andriessen was well played and executed. However in the programme it said that Anais would have "on-screen encounters with her lovers among them Henry Miller.  Had they not read the writings of this infamous, rapacious Twentieth Century French woman? A woman that was read in darkened, hidden rooms; a woman who shocked society, her stunning lesbian activities exciting all who read her? A philosopher, she had moving love affairs too.

Nin had a brilliant, eccentric brain who fought for women's rights.
"Age does not protect you from love," she said, "but love, to some extent, protects you from age.

"Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.

Do not seek the because; in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.

I am happy that the Arts Council and The Lottery Fund,  sponsor and give hope to such young companies and the freedom to do what they want, but the standard of this particular show was much lower than the work I had just seen from my son's music school, Mannes College of Music and The Manhattan School of Music from New York, on their Italian tour for the Novafeltria Festival. Especially good was their show in Teatro Vittoria, Pennabili where you could see true talent.

 Also I was given quite a lot of flack for my play As I like it, which was infinitely more entertaining than this thirty-five minute show which was so dull I could not wait to leave. I hate to be this critical. I would have loved to have liked it but it was shallow and boring. 
This story had so much potential, and yet the results were embarrassingly below average.
More fun at least was the tiny sketch in the foyer before the show about mobile telephones and love.
I do not want to be horrid just truthful.
By the way, the programme was equally patronising with its political correctness. If you want everybody to be equal, why mention their differences ?

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