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Culture under a full moon

September 24, 2010

Last night I had an unexpected trip to the cinema, to see a NT Live screening of Phedre starring Helen Mirren. Not the sort of thing I would normally have gone to see, but a friend who I hadn’t seen for a while had a spare ticket. The characters are from a Greek Tragedy, and it was written by Jean Racine, way back in 1677. This version had been translated by the late, great poet, Ted Hughes.

The evening began with a huge outburst from one of the oldies, as a poor young man from Cineworld tried to explain what the delay was (we hadn’t noticed, too busy chatting!). Evidently they had been asked to say it was a 6.30pm start, in order to get everyone seated in time, due to delays with a previous NT Live screening. Our oldie with the plum in his mouth was “outraged”. It was, apparently “ridiculous” that a cinema didn’t play music instead of the screen test run throughs. I could hardly speak for laughing! Could this really be Cineworld Stevenage? It’s normally me huffing and puffing because of kids talking or kicking my seat, not some posh twirlie kicking off (love that term Barbara!)  The poor man’s blood pressure….

The play was a rollercoaster of highly charged emotion, and my heart was pounding as it reached its tragic, bloody climax. As the cast took their bows, they looked drained. They could barely smile (although probably not appropriate given the content), as they received their well deserved applause.

That night my pounding heart continued to keep me awake. Every time I turned over it echoed in my pillow, which magnified it, rather than muffling it. I retreated to the sofa, and watched the moon illuminate the garden. Venus was in attendance, glowing brightly to the east of it. Perhaps it’s the effect of the full moon, I wondered?  My heart pounded on as my brain went into overdrive. I watched the moon rise another 45 degrees or so and tried to sleep. Which is hard with a boom boom boom in your left ear.

This morning I looked at the leaflet accompanying the painkillers I’d taken the night before for my sore back. Paracetamol Plus they’re called. The “plus” is caffeine. The boom boom boom had just been explained.

 Sweet dreams everyone.

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