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Important parts of Daniel Radcliffe

Despite the dismal weather yesterday, we found some excellent entertainment.

We had lunch in Soho in celebration of my offspring’s birthdays. A long and lazy, and ultimately cocktail-fuelled, few hours catching up for the first time since Christmas.

In the evening I had tickets for a preview of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at the Old Vic. PwC tickets at a tenner a go. Just for my husband and myself, but I don’t think our son and daughter minded too much. Their conversational contribution was to wonder whether Daniel Radcliffe would be naked (remembering Equus which I don’t think any of us actually saw, but still) and we agreed to let them know, thinking no more of it.

The Old Vic was heaving: it looked like a full-house, inspired either by the big names in the cast (the glorious Alan Cumming starring as well as the aforementioned Mr Radcliffe, Jane Horrocks also featured), or the availability of cheap seats.

Colourful Old Vic on a damp January night

The play was preceded by another short Beckett work: Rough for Theatre II. I find Beckett challengingly weird as entertainment, but there was plenty to think about and enjoy. Alan Cumming was exceptional and not hamming* things up at all – I have probably only seen him in comedic roles or being his flouncy self in the media, so I’m not sure what I was expecting.  He was probably more camp in the role than many others have been but toned down from what I might have expected.

Jane Horrocks and Karl Johnson performed from the neck up only, emerging just occasionally from two wheelie bins. (I recall seeing this before – probably back at school – but all other memory of the play seemed lost in the mists).

Daniel Radcliffe did some impressive physical stuff: standing jumps up onto a window sill in Rough; repeated stiff-legged climbs up, and weird jolting or sliding descents from, a tall and wobbly step-ladder in Endgame – which had me ready to shout out ‘Be careful’ (kids would have laughed at me for that). But, unbelievably, he also lowered his trousers to give us a rear view of his thighs whilst he treated his privates with flea powder. No need to look at my husband – we each knew what the other was triumphantly thinking. Not quite naked, but good enough.

I messaged the family WhatsApp group on my way home to say that trousers had been dropped. After a short pause, my daughter’s response was simply “How big?”  I’m afraid I snorted before I could remember I was in a busy carriage. Ah well. She claims someone else wrote the question on her phone, and I claim I had no interest in looking.

*despite his main character being called Hamm. Sorry.

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