Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Monkey, shame about the Dome

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I'm meant to be posting every day and end up having almost a week off. Tsk - must try harder. Anyway, I'll be back at the blogface properly tomorrow but thought I'd quickly encourage you to go and see Monkey - Journey to the West which I saw today with fellow Green Blogger Sue.

I thought it was really excellent. Definitely one of the best Mandarin language operas combined with funky animation that I've seen all year in fact. Although I was sitting behind a man with one of the most enormous heads I've ever seen (we moved in the interval which was a sharp idea that certainly paid off) and we were in the cheap seats it was still a real spectacular and the fact that it wasn't in English didn't diminish the enjoyment at all.

A funny, quirky mix of the ancient myth, traditional Mandarin opera and modern pop with animations from the creator of Gorillaz thrown into the mix it was certainly an inventive show. Me being me I have to find something to critique... so I'll probably say that I'd have liked Sandy's part to have been enlarged a little as he seemed a bit of a spare wheel a lot of the time.

I booked late but I heard one woman in the queue moaning that she'd been bombarded with marketing calls and texts in the weeks leading up to the performance and the ticket office completely messed up my tickets so I did rather come away with the impression that the venue was rather poor to be honest.

This was only to be expected I suppose as it was at the Dome, the bastard child of Mandelson and Hesseltine, which appears to be a vision of hell. Jammed packed with chain stores, designed to inconvenience you to the maximum amount in order to bring you into as much contact with the merchandisers as possible and all made up of the most horrific shallow facades. At least I'll know to expect when I get there.


Anonymous said...

The Dome reminds me of the American Adventure Theme Park, which was in Derbyshire and was the height of excitement for 10 year-olds in the West Midlands in the early 80s. Rows of shop facades with nothing behind them. Not in great nick now though.

Adrian Windisch said...

I should see the show, sounds great. Its based on the book Journey to the west by Wu Ch'eng-en, a sort of Gullivers travels meets religion.

I got to know it as Monkey the tv show in the 70s, then read the book. I recommend reading the book as the next step towards enlightenment.

weggis said...

Was Sue one of those 10 year olds in the early 80s I wonder?

Jim Jay said...

I've been obsessed with the journey to west all my life - but I decided to avoid mention of the TV show simply because it's the cultural high point of my life and nothing could possibly measure up to it.

What I was astonished at as an adult returning to the TV show was how much spiritual learning there was in the show amidst the sillyness and fighting - just as it should be!

Anonymous said...

I was indeed 10 at some point in the 80s, yes Weggis! I don't remember the Monkey show on TV at all though - not that old ;) (either that or my Mum wouldn't let me have the telly on at that time - not sure which).