Friday, 29 January 2016

National Theatre Live transmission of Les Liaisons dangereuses by Christopher Hampton at El Corte Inglês Cinema, Lisboa - The 28th of January 2016

Considered a brilliantly revived adaptation of the classical French epistolary novel by Choderlos de Laclos Les Liaisons Dangereuses exceeded my expectations not only because of Christopher Hampton's witty approach, the whole decor but most of all  due to the brilliant interpretation of Janet McTeer in the role of Marquise de Merteuil, Dominic West as Vicomte de Valmont and Elaine Cassidy as Madame de Tourvel.

Other characters, such as the waiter and the young Cecile de Voslanges, whose acting roles were not as "vibrant" as the three main characters in the overall play were equally played with a remarkable distinctiveness by Theo Barklem-Biggs and Jennifer Saayeng.

I couldn't have possibly spent three hours in "better company". Despite the fact that  Choderlos de Laclos' novel dates back to 1782 the games of seduction, revenge, power and the fragile aspects or strengths in relationships still resonate today with slightly different contours, bearing in mind the epoch they are associated to  in the play -  a Pre-revolutionary France.

Directed by Josie Rourke to mark the play's thirty year anniversary Liaisons Dangereuses has won the Evening Standard awards for best play, which doesn't surprise me at all ... what did surprise me though (and maybe it shouldn't) was the fact that there were only twenty one people (apart from my daughter and I) watching this Live transmission ... in a room prepared to welcome many more guests.

I'd better not say what I feel about the Portuguese Theatre public (or absence of it) as it would sound rather presumptuous on my part but I wish people were more culture oriented and attended these venues as much as they attend shopping malls (el Corte Inglês was crowded) because they 'd realise what they really missed (in this case just around the corner ...)

"Theatre at its most seductive and sinister" - The Evening Standard.

"One of the best stage adaptations ever written." - The Observer.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

' Graphic representation of a play ... or just "may" ...

The more I look at these latest sketches made and photos taken at a theatrical play my daughter participated in the prouder I feel of her and what she stands for. Being an artist in a country like ours comes with a price ... and what a high price it is ...

The unquestionable love of performing arts and the recognition of the public is virtually all most artists have apart from the struggle to physically and emotionally survive, so as to bring their art forth ...  

May creativity live on (with or without "higher" recognition) ...

 May "real" artists be praised wherever they are ...
May artists go on for the sake of the few who need their art ... (sometimes as much as they themselves do) ... 
May ...

May ...


The latest film I have seen ...

Being an epic Western adventure type film The Revenant  would not necessarily be among my personal choices as far as films are concerned, yet the fact that it was inspired by the experiences of a frontiersman and a fur trapper in 1823 together with having received worldwide appraisal led me to go and see it at a local Cinema, more out of curiosity than any special willingness to do so. 

I must be honest and say I felt it was too visceral and raw for my personal taste though I must equally confess the interpretations by Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy were rather impressive and Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography worth being praised.

"(...) alone amid the empty, unforgiving expanse of nature is The Revenant able to achieve what it truly aspires to be: a contemplative exploration on the human will to survive." - Jason McKiernan

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Calouste Gulbenkian and his taste for English Art - a temporary exhibition at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon - The 24th of January 2016

Because there was another temporary exhibition - Calouste Gulbenkian's taste for English Art, which  in a way was connected to the previous one I had been to I decided not to miss it. The exhibition's aim was to provide an overview of Calouste Gulbenkian's collection aquired during the years he spent in London in which he is said to have built up a network of contacts with Art dealers and specialists, many of whom would later play a key role in advising him on his Art aquisitions. 

The Waldegrave ladies by Valentine Green after Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) - 1781 - mezzotint (left). Mrs. Billington as St. Cecilia by James Ward  (1769-1859) after Sir Joshua Reynolds - 1803 - mezzotint - (right).

Portrait of Miss Frances Beresford by John Hoppner (1758-1810) - 1775 - oil on canvas (left). Portrait of Miss Georgiana Musgrave by James Ward - oil on canvas (right).

Diana and Actaeon by James Ward - 1798-1811 - oil on canvas

Bacchanal by Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885-1934) - 1914 - terracotta.

Flamma Vestalis after Edward Coley Burne Jones by Eugene Gaugean (1850-1900) - 1887 - etching on vellum (right).

I must say I was quite impressed particularly bearing in mind the multiple facets of Gulbenkian as an Art collector and the role he has undeniably played in making it available for the Portuguese public.


Monday, 25 January 2016

Wentworth-Fitzwilliam Art Collection - a temporary exhibition at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon - The 24th of January 2016

I took to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum over the weeked so as to have access to the Wentworth-Fitzwilliam Art collection known as one of the most prestigious private collections in Britain now being exhibitted in Lisbon.

Despite not being very keen on animal represented paintings I was impressed by George Stubbs'.

Whistle Jacket with the Head groom and two other principal stallions - 1762 - oil on canvas.

Five of the Lord Rockingham's stag hounds in a landscape - 1762 - oil on canvas.

Portrait of Maud, 7th Countess Fitzwilliam by Philip de Laszlo (1869-1937) - 1911 - oil on canvas.

Virgin and child with two angels by Hans Memling (1433-1494) - 1485-90 - oil on paper (left)


Virgin in adoration by Quentin Massys (1466-1530) - 1491-1505 - oil on paper.

Adoration of the Magi by Master of the Holy Blood (active up to c.1530) - 1530 - oil on paper.

Virgin and child by Master of the female - Half-Lengths (active up to the first half of the 16th century) - 1520-50 - oil on paper.

Portrait of William Wentworth by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) - 1827 - oil on canvas (left). Portrait of the children of the Earl of Strafford by Sir Anton Van Dyck (1599 -1641) - 1639-40 - oil on canvas (right).

Double portrait  of the Prince and Princess Palatine by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656) - 1632 - oil on canvas.

Cappriccio of a coastal scene with the anchored Dutch Men-o'-War by Jan Abrahamsz.Beerstraten (1622-1666) - mid 17th century - oil on canvas

Portrait of the 1st Duke of St. Albans by Simon Verelst (1644-1721) - 1676-80 - oil on canvas.

Portraits of Lady Henrietta Maria (right) and Charles Stanley (left) by Sir Anton Van Dyck - 1637-38 - oil on canvas.

Portraits of Lucy, the Countess of Carlisle (left) by Sir Anton Van Dyck - 1637 and Catherine of Braganza  (right) by the workshop of Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680) - 1663-65 - oil on canvas.

I was particularly fond of the exhibitted portraits and among those the ones painted by Van Dyck, though the portrait of the Portuguese Catarina de Bragança was quite impressive.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

"Break a leg" ...

"Break a leg" is what I'd like to be able to personally tell my daughter tonight as she will be reading out Mário Cesariny's poems together with a group of other actors at Pensão Amor, in what happens to be a cycle of poetry reading devised by the Theatrical group Os Pato Bravo.
Similarly to the latest poetry session held in December last I may not be attending the venue  which starts fairly late in the evening and right in the middle of the week which is a hindering aspect.

Being creative and surviving as an actor in a country, whose leaders pay little respect to this form of Art or any other, is hard ...
Cesariny's own feelings in regards to this, despite having been conveyed many years ago, encapsulate the overall attitude towards this form of expression.
"I am put on a high pedestal as people clap hands whilst listening to me to be soon outcast  as I spend time home on my own.That's the Portuguese literary appraisal type of approach."

Monday, 18 January 2016

Some photos of mine taken by Valérie during the Myanmar circuit ...

I have just been sent some photos taken by a Myanmar trip companion, Valérie, which not only made me think back to that outstandingly meaningful trip but also the beautiful people I came across both in the country I was visiting and within the group I was travelling with. 

During the forced stopover at Bagan airport on the way to Mandalay

With some villagers on the way to Lake Inle

On the Lake Inle

I don't know where I'll be going to on the next circuit but the one to Myanmar will linger on for a while (of that I am absolutely sure)...