Sunday, July 27, 2008

Doctor Who Prom Report

So I went to the Prom today and managed NOT to explode from squee and glee (or melt in the heat!)

I met a couple of friends from LJ - although not until after the Prom was over.

I also spoke to Phil Collinson (outgoing Exec Producer) - poor bloke must have wondered who the hell the over-excited loony was who accosted him outside the RAH just after he and his party exited. I thanked him for his work on Who - because I know he's worked very hard on it. And he immediately diverted me into discussing the concert so I babbled like the fool I am and then wished him luck for the future.

I also saw Russell T Davies (Who's chief writer and producer) but he was up in a balcony seat (with Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) beside him) so I didn't speak to him. I did wave and shout at Catherine and she saw me and waved back!

Anywho, onto the concert proper:

It opened with a concert prologue sung by Melanie Pappenheim (she of the ethereal voice who does the Doomsday music).

Then they showed a short clip sequence featuring all the New Who companions (including Mickey and Jackie) but not Sarah Jane Smith (my first companion) which was followed by Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" - which I thought was a lovely choice (and I adore that piece of music anyway!)

Then Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) came out to introduce it and we had "All the Strange, Strange Creatures" - and it was fantastic to hear it live! There were 2 Sontarans (one helmeted, one not), 2 Judoon (ditto) and 3 Cybermen milling around during this piece. The helmeted Judoon was at the end of my row of seats (I was about 6 - 8 seats in from the aisle) and I saw it scanning some of the kids.

This was followed by Mark-Anthony Turnage's "The Torino Scale" having its UK premiere. It was a very loud, dramatic piece with lots of odd noises from the orchestra (deliberately odd, I hasten to add!)

Then one of my long time favourites - Holst's "Jupiter" from "The Planets" - during which three Ood appeared in three of the aisles.

Next was "The Doctor Forever" - which sounded quite different live compared to the CD version I'm used to hearing. Then came music for Rose, followed by Martha vs The Master (with clips from "Sound of Drums" and "The Last of the Time Lords"). Freema came out afterwards and admitted to being biased and liking that!

Then we had the "TARDIS cutaway" scene "Music of the Spheres" with the Doctor and the Graske (again) - which was aimed squarely at the children, but rather amusing too. At one point the Doctor started talking to us directly, then he threw some music he'd written through the "spatial anomaly" (I can't remember what technobabble name RTD gave it) and suddenly sheets of paper flew out over the orchestra who then played what the Doctor had supposedly just written (a raucous noise!).

RTD says of this segment (in the programme notes) that the Tenth Doctor "hadn't yet shown any aptitude for music" (after listing the various musical interests of the previous nine incarnations) - which just goes to show how little notice he takes of his own show since Ten sang bits of "I could have danced all night" (from "My Fair Lady") in Girl in the Fireplace and he tries to take Rose to an Elvis concert in "The Idiot's Lantern" - he also mentions Ian Drury at one stage too...

We then had an interval and the second part started with Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyrie" (without the cannons, alas!).

Then Noel (Mickey Smith) and Camille (Jackie Tyler) came out and introduced Murray's music for the Daleks and Davros - and a Dalek appeared on stage and Davros appeared in the Promming area and started telling us that he was going to make the Royal Albert Hall his "palace" and we would be his servants (there was quite a bit of jeering and hissing going on!). Three Cybermen also appeared in three of the aisles to gesture wildly at the Dalek and Davros.

Then we had an unexpected treat - Catherine Tate appeared on stage (she wasn't listed in the programme as presenting, unlike Freema, Noel and Camille)!! She got huge cheers before she introduced music for Donna, Reinette and Astrid.

Freema introduced Prokofiev's "Montagues and Capulets" theme from his ballet Romeo and Juliet and reminded us that Martha had met Shakespeare. Then we had This is Gallifrey (and clips with this piece included Derek Jacobi's Master regenerating into John Simm's Master) and "Doomsday" with Murray Gold letting rip on the piano.

Then Freema and an Ood introduced "The Doctor's Theme" and "Song of Freedom", the triumphant version of the "Ood Song" that we heard when the TARDIS crew were piloting the ship (and Earth) back home (Freema mentioned that day's filming was one of her absolute favourites!) - and it was nice to see some shots of the Ninth Doctor during "The Doctor's Theme".

Finally we had Tim Phillips singing "Song for Ten" and then the DW Theme from Season 4 before they encored Song of Freedom and encouraged everyone to clap along...

Oh! I forgot to mention that Freema came on stage at one point and said David had just rung her 'cos he was listening to it live in Stratford and we all cheered (and I bellowed "Hello David" like a fool!)

I had a fantastic time. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get to see Freema or Catherine at the stage door afterwards, but there was a real screaming scrum when they appeared, and we were told to go home very quickly by the security guard, unfortunately. Still Freema was standing in the aisle just a few seats away twice and I could see how tiny and gorgeous she is!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Poetry Friday - 20

It's been a helluva week here... On Tuesday I picked up my reading glasses, and the arm fell off. But instead of the screw having fallen out, the arm had actually broken. A replacement pair will cost me £67!

On Wednesday morning I was checking my emails and what-not first thing and my laptop threw a major wobbly, crashing and refusing to reboot. I had to wait until yesterday to get hold of an XP disc to reinstall the OS - and in the process I lost all my data!

Yesterday morning, in the middle of our heatwave, my electric fan (an essential item in this well insulated attic room) died!

The only thing that's keeping me from having the screaming abdabs about all this is the knowledge that I'm seeing Freema Agyeman in person on Sunday at the Doctor Who Prom.

Since I'm so stressed, I've resorted to Shakespeare - my comfort reading poetry-wise...

Sonnet 19

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
And burn the long-liv'd phoenix, in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet'st,
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,

To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O! carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.

This poem reminds me that "this too, shall pass"...

The Poetry Friday round up this week is over at A Year of Reading.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reading 101

Just thought I'd share this with you - it's written by a Live Journal friend of mine who's a very thoughtful, caring mom.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Poetry Friday - 19

This week a friend in the Philippines introducted me to the poetry of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (how cosmopolitan is the WWW?!) - whose poetry I'd not previously encountered. I particularly like this poem. For some reason the line "I love you as certain dark things are to be loved" makes me think of Shakespeare:

XVII (I do not love you...)

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Translated by Stephen Tapscott

This week the Poetry Friday round-up really IS with Kelly Fineman (I mistook the date last week, so I apologise if I caused any confusion...)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Poetry Friday - 18

I came across this poem by Ogden Nash during the week, and it lodged itself quite firmly in my brain, so I thought I would share it with you.


There is a knocking in the skull,
An endless silent shout
Of something beating on a wall,
And crying, "Let me out!"

That solitary prisoner
Will never hear reply.
No comrade in eternity
Can hear the frantic cry.

No heart can share the terror
That haunts his monstrous dark.
The light that filters through the chinks
No other eye can mark.

When flesh is linked with eager flesh,
And words run warm and full,
I think that he is loneliest then,
The captive in the skull.

Caught in a mesh of living veins,
In cell of padded bone,
He loneliest is when he pretends
That he is not alone.

We’d free the incarcerate race of man
That such a doom endures
Could only you unlock my skull,
Or I creep into yours.

The Poetry Friday round-up is over at Writing and Ruminating this week.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Poetry Friday - 17

It's a lovely summer's day here - bright sunshine, but not too hot yet. I'm enjoying re-reading Garth Nix's Mister Monday as I work towards reading Superior Saturday (which I bought last week - oh the joy of having a little spare cash!), and I'm in a generally good mood (ie. I'm not thinking about what's going to happen in tomorrow's Doctor Who season finale!). Therefore, I thought I'd share this poem by Wordsworth, as it seems to suit my mood:

Upon Westminster Bridge

EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Just gorgeous!

The Poetry Friday round up is over at In Search of Giants.

And to those enjoying a holiday weekend - Happy July 4th!