Brushes with Culture

This is a space where I can reflect on the many fascinating things that I experience. Some of the things I brush with are Culture with a capital C. Others are just intriguing moments. Sometimes I am brushing with these moments in a hurry. This is a chance to relive those moments in tranquility. These are the stories I tell myself in those quieter moments.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

My Child and my Childhood

Last May I went to the theatre a lot and I did the same this May. What is it about May, I wonder?

High spot was yesterday's My Child at the Royal Court, which also finished last night. And I liked it because it was sharp, pacey and painful. The set enveloped us and I'd argue with the reviewer who found it stuck too far in the the internal worlds of the characters and low on references to the wider context. The tube-carriage-style space we inhabited (standing) captured the pace and technologisation of the world ('Mum, he doesn't know what an Xbox is') and the adverts around us captured the surface culture we are fed, that stresses looks and money ('I want a dad that's rich and strong.') Sympathy may not have been wholly with the out-of-work philosophy major father but his final questions about why it's not enough to be good and mean well had a certain resonance. Excellent casting - the family all had a likeness and a snappiness that partnered their vulnerability. The brittleness was palpable. One of the best things I've seen in a while.

And then I woke up this morning and realised it was Sunday and I hadn't missed the Mail on Sunday's offer of a free 10CC greatest hits CD. It was my one regret when I went to bed that I'd been singing the hits featured on the advert ever since I'd heard it in the week and then forgotten to buy the paper. So now I have that walk back to the newsagents and to adolescence to look forward to. Which is a whole other story. But it was a salutary reminder that adverts do shape our world. Harnessing sappy memories of way back to sell us ridiculous things... Can't imagine that I'll open that evil organ of middle England it came in, though.


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