Thursday, June 7, 2012


It's been a patriotic week what with the Diamond Jubilee & all. And it goes on. Even in Beijing.
This afternoon Liz and I went to the Queen's Birthday Party - her official one - at the Ambassador's Residence. Having lived overseas for the last dozen years we're pretty used to these. They're funny things, very Glyndebourne-meets-Ascot but without the opera and horses. There's fish & chips & Pimms, ladies in hats, speeches and a toast to the Queen. And the Beijing Beatles performed later on but we missed them as we had to get to the NCPA to see...
...Propeller's Henry V - as patriotic a play as was ever written. Very good production performed with matey, laddish gusto. Many other versions (including the Olivier & Brannagh films) see Henry dominate everything, but here it's much more of an ensemble piece. I felt a little uncomfortable at times: one of them wears an England football shirt, and there's obviously lots of puffing up of chests and jingoism towards the French... but thankfully there's enough humour and invention to distract from the nationalism. And the ending of course sees Henry question whether it was all worth it. 

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