The weekend was quite relaxing, really.
We did nothing very much at all on Saturday except go to see Shrek the Third, which was quite good. Not as good as the first two, obviously, but it still has a little of that original Shrek magic, and the usual array of celebrity voices (this time including Eric Idle as Merlin). As Empire magazine mentioned, they could have done a lot more with high school stereotypes than cheerleaders and D&D geeks, so that was a shame, and I felt they could also have done more with the Arthurian legend side of things. Even the aside Disney references were a little lack-lustre.
Nevertheless, it has its moments. The donkon (donkey/dragon hybrid) babies have gone from being cute to downright ugly little creatures. My favourite moment was probably Puss, in Donkey's body, trying to do the adorable kitten eyes at some guards, prompting the response, "Argh! Kill it!".
I enjoyed it, anyway. We went for drinks after that at the Bright House, fearing that all other pubs would be rammed on the Last Official Day of Smoking (thank God), ended up have a semi-serious conversation for some reason, and then went to get something for dinner from Tesco.
On Sunday, the washing line broke, and we had a few minutes of fun trying to un-knot it from the wall bracket it was wrapped around to get enough to re-knot at the other end. It's now hanging lower than it was before and Trevor will probably moan, but since it's more than likely to break again it'll probably be easier to buy a new one anyway...
Paul went to play badminton with Drew and I stayed in to watch the concert in memory of Diana at Wembley Stadium. I started watching this not realising it was on from 3.30 to 10.00, but watched the majority of it nonetheless. The best bit was probably the ballet and Ricky Gervais (er, not simultaneously, it should be noted), and the oddest section was the Andrew Lloyd Webber medley. They were hyping this all through the show as being "some of Andrew's favourite songs" and having "some big West End stars" in it, so I was quite excited. As it turned out, there was a song from Jesus Christ Superstar sung by someone completely unrecognisable, a song from Cats, two songs from POTO and two-and-a-bit songs from Joseph.
I missed the majority of the JCS song because I was peeling potatoes. The other stuff commenced with Andrew's new West End starlet, Connie Fisher (who won the Maria show), singing Memory. This was wrong, wrong and wrong. Connie is too young, for starters, because it's meant to be sung by the old Glamour Cat, lamenting her bygone days. Given it was originally intended to be in Sunset Blvd until they ran into copyright troubles, it's especially horrible to have Connie singing it. I didn't like Connie in the competition, I didn't want her to win, and I definitely didn't like her singing Memory. She was also accompanied by a random other singer who did Jemima's part, but for some reason without the high soprano; the part by Jemima, I've always thought, is meant to be a memory of Grizabella's younger self, a shadow of her past, and perhaps a vision of Jemima's future.
They could have done a lot better and got a much better response by roping in Elaine Paige to sing it (especially so, as they managed to get Sarah Brightman later on) and having Connie sing the other, soprano part. Also because the song is meant for an alto / mezzo range, not soprano, and Connie got the part of Maria based on her upper range, not her lower. It felt like she just didn't understand the song in the slightest; there was no passion and no harsh bitterness, and it just didn't work.
So, disappointed. This was followed by the famous blind tenor, Andréa Bocelli,
The next POTO offering was Sarah Brightman and A Random Man singing All I Ask of You, which was okay. The Random Man had a nice enough voice and good, foppish hair, and Sarah was Sarah, quite frankly. She sings with one vowel and has become even more frighteningly operatic these days, though I thought her performance here was quite weak. It did, however, provide a few nice mental images of Christine, twenty years older, still singing, which was pleasant considering my fic is about a 15-years-older Christine.
The final section was the best, to be honest. The Joseph stuff began with Donny Osmond (meh), who was then thoroughly upstaged by Jason Donovan (YAY!), both leading the way for the new West End Joseph, Lee. Lee is just as amazing now he's got the part as when I saw him in the penultimate show of the competition. I didn't vote for him for fear of jinxing (which is what happened throughout the entire of the Maria competition) and it's probably just as well - the public did good, for once. I probably won't see him in Joseph, but I'd love to see him in something else one of these days. I think he'll go far. So, yeah, that bit was okay. :D
A bit so-so, really. Considering some of the big stars they managed to get for the rest of the concert - Elton John, Nelly Furtado, the Royal Ballet - it was quite disappointing that the only PROPER West End star was Sarah Brightman. I was expecting at the very least Elaine Paige and/or Michael Ball. Also disappointed that there was nothing from the 'less popular' musicals like Sunset Blvd or Starlight Express, as there are some beautiful songs there. Andrew did seem to be going for the stuff which is going to make him money, i.e. Phantom, Joseph, and Cats. Sometimes, he is a genius; when it comes to making good decisions, he can be an idiot.
Anyway. That was that. This week I need to do the following:
- Have a general tidy up.
- Screw bookcases together, and put books on them, after getting books from attic.
- Clean oven.
- Clean cupboard under sink to get rid of horrible smell caused by previous leak.
- Change bed.
- Hoover bedroom.
- Watch some television.
All this to include going swimming with Alison tonight, posting my long-overdue chapter 4, and also, hopefully, Buying Some Stuff. I'm meant to be getting "lots of money" from Paul this month (as it's a five-week month). I need to get summer shirts for work, some black sandals, and I want to get a couple of CDs. I will probably chicken out at the last minute anyway, but meh. I wants me some retail therapy, dammit.
I shall make a start on some chores, perhaps, after I've done the washing up and had breakfast, and played a game of online Scrabble.