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National Theatrics - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
National Theatrics

Sitting downtown now, waiting on a delayed client, my mind goes back to the four-plus hours of theatre I watched over the past two days. It's remarkable how close-knit, and talented, and yet accessible, these past and current generations of British actors are. Worldwide fame and blockbuster fortunes don't keep the Dames and the Hiddlestons and Sherlocks from coming back to the NT.

It likely helps that the whole country is roughly the size of New York State, and is based artistically almost entirely in a single city (complaints from Stratford and Cardiff notwithstanding). There's also more of a tradition of the best actors going into directing, and respecting its level of craft. When one of our stars goes behind the camera, it tends to turn out more like Shatner directing scintillating rounds of "Row Row Row Your Boat."

The West End's commercialism is separated by miles, not a continent, from the centre of serious theatre. And does the US really have one? Is it Papp? Kennedy Center? Certainly nothing that the entertainment industry promotes to the extent as is done by the NT, and the Beeb, and so much commercial UK enterprise.

But we have 30 judge and paternity shows a day, plus Honey Boo Boo, so we've got that going for us, which is nice.


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