Friday, 8 November 2013

The Habit of Smart (phone users)

Five old friends came to lunch yesterday, and we talked about death, illness and travel, as one does. Caroline's bread and butter pudding was a triumph. I'm stuck for a segue to the scaffolders' visit today, to complete their spider's web, now surrounding most of the house at prodigious expense. And to the next item also.

"The Habit of Art" by Alan Bennett was relayed live from the National Theatre to cinemas three years ago, but I guess we were away. So we took the opportunity to view the recording they showed at Cineworld last night, part of the 50th birthday celebrations.

What a great play! And how did Bennett get the initial idea? Better than any Pirandello. There was one snag: Auden or Britten being strangers to me, I was perfectly happy to see them played by non-lookalikes; but it was different with Humphrey Carpenter, whom I had known quite well from his period directing our literary festival. Adrian Scarborough is nothing like him. This however was only a minor blip to set against some excellent acting, especially from Frances de la Tour.

Another snag arose in the form of a neighbour with her smartphone screen lit up. My request that it be turned off elicited a fusilade of invective, which was renewed in the interval. Yes, OK. I suppose I should be more tolerant in this day and age, but...

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