Skip to main content

I see Angels everywhere....

No I haven't joined a religious cult...I haven't totally lost it yet.

I did however get to thinking about how aspects of my PhD have infiltrated my whole life. Not least that I see AIDS and gay characters everywhere I look. Watching Doctor Who this weekend (Spoiler alert across the blog!) where the Weeping Angels take over New York was I yelling 'Don't kill Rory again Moffat' no. I was shouting, and I quote:

'Oh no Moff, not my Angel, the Angel Bethesda is not a weeping Angel.'

Now of course the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park is no more a Weeping Angel than any of the others, nor is she 'my' Angel (I said I haven't totally lost it) however I am incredibly attached to this particular fountain. Every time I go to New York I go there, I greet the Angel with a 'Salut' and in winter I mutter something about 'ice in the pipes' that it's my 'favourite place in the park'. None of this actually has anything to do with me, it's all from Angels in America. One of my favourite plays and one of my PhD texts.

(Incidentally I've long been convinced that Steven Moffat's idea for the Weeping Angels actually comes from the opening of the HBO version of Angels in America when the statue turns her head at the end of the opening credits, something that was echoed in a more sinister way in Doctor Who)

That physical place has become significant through the text, and seeing it used in a different context was very strange, particularly in something else I'm particularly passionate about and also associate with physical locations. You see I moved out of Cardiff and the Doctor moved in, since then he's brought a number of friends including Sherlock Holmes. So two of the television programmes I am most geeky about film in my home town. I find I no longer refer to places by their real names but their fictional ones. I've lost count of the times I've told someone to meet me 'at Torchwood' to the point I forget what anyone called it before Torchwood existed. It's one thing to watch the TV show and shout 'Cardiff' and 'not Cardiff' or 'That's not an alien planet that's the WMC' or 'Victorian London looks a lot like Bute Street' It's another to spend your life parking by 'Sherlock's alleyway' or 'The Pond's House' or giving directions via Ianto's Shrine (which really is a whole other level of...well something else) But my hometown has at once become a playground of my favourite fictional worlds.

All of Cardiff has become a Tardis at times it seems

So it was very odd for a start to see New York, the very definition of a living film set, take on Doctor Who, but then to see Doctor Who become part of another fictional location that has become physically important to me.

It is a very odd phenomenon that fiction elicits such strong attachments to places and along with that things and the things and places that actually through strange fan associations extend beyond the original text-I'm mightly attached to my black umbrella and woolen jumper due to Sherlock Holmes associations that have nothing to do with what Conan Doyle wrote. Likewise I have a particular pair of Converse associated with a particular production of Angels in America that I can't throw out despite dual associations with someone I'd rather forget existed. An extension of books, tickets photographs and autographs for fans of whatever it might be it's the objects that have a more fan-based self referential significance, a significance only a certain demographic would understand that has more significance.
Although I'm not above posing at Baker Street....

Perhaps that's why a dirty smelly alleyway in Cardiff makes me smile as much as Baker Street itself, why I have to point to a 'little shop' in the WMC and why I always greet a certain stone Angel in central park the same way. And why I will never, ever forgive Steven Moffat for turning her into a scary monster.


Popular posts from this blog

Theatre Fangirls (here we go again)

There's some arguments that come around and you think 'really? we're still talking about this?' but also you're not really surprised.

So when it was annoucned Tom Hiddleston was teaming up with Kenneth Brannagh for a production of Hamlet, it was inevitable that the cries of  'Silly fangirls' began. Once again we're confronted with comments that girls 'Only want to see it because he's in it' and 'Aren't interested in the play'.

And because I am a woman, therefore incapable of thinking of him other than in terms of his he above with a cat looking cute.

But just like Mr H there is both petting a cat, reading a newspaper and looking brooding, I'd like to point out that it's entierly possible to be interested in more than one aspect of a thing at the same time. And secondly I say so what the audience is just there to look at his cheekbones?

I don't have a horse in this race. I think Hiddles is a damn good ac…

Why Elliott & Harper is the company I've been waiting for

I can never resist a good (bad) pun in a title. As the first production from Elliott & Harper opens its doors for previews tonight, it’s worth pausing to think what this new production company means and why indeed we need more like it. Something of a ‘power house’ company formed of Marianne Elliott and Chris Harper. Both coming from the National Theatre- as Director and Producer respectively- there’s a real understanding of both the craft of theatre and the audiences that do- and don’t- come to it there. And theatre made by and produced by theatre people, in the commercial realm. That’s potentially very exciting.

Firstly, the act of two theatre people who really love theatre, really understand theatre both from an audience point of view and an artistic point of view. Secondly, one of the UK’s best directors striking out on her own to make theatre on her own terms. Thirdly, and you bet it’s an important factor, a woman artistic director. It’s all exciting, and has the potential, …

Holding the Man (some thoughts, not a review)

This isn't a 'review' because I saw this too close to the end of the run, but some plays make you want to put pen to paper regardless. It's also not a review, as this is filled with the kind of personal anecdotal nonsense that people tell me doesn't belong in my blog.

Well screw that, this is my blog, and for this one I'm writing it how I'd like.

A little background. For anyone who doesn't know me, I wrote my PhD in what essentially translates to 'Plays about AIDS'. There's a far more sophisticated description. But for the purposes of today, that about covers it. For anyone who wants more of that nonsense, my side blog is here

I started my PhD in September 2010. In June 2010 (June 21st, I looked it up. Yes I keep a list) I saw 'Holding the Man' for the first time. I actually had no idea what it was about going in, I was actually just a bit obsessed with Simon Burke at the time so booked to see him (what of it?). And so by accident …