May 18

What happens when you get a Shakespearean actor to direct a film about a Norse god? You get a terrifically entertaining action flick that doesn’t insult your intelligence. It’s funny, moving, wry and even educational (the gods forbid!) A cross between Henry V and Avatar, Kenneth Branagh’s Thor is a winner on all fronts. The only misstep is that it should have been 3D. If you didn’t enjoy it, you and I should never see a film together.

May 16

Recently watched the first two episodes of the 2011 Doctor Who. If you haven't seen it since you were a kid, try again. It's an updated, camp version of what was almost an embarrassment. Still, I was disappointed with this season's opener for several reasons. First, it's set in the US. Is it a coincidence that the Doctor’s rules of non-violence are being over-stepped at a time when the media is screaming, “It’s a great time to be American!” after Bin Laden’s murder? (I’m far from being a Bin Laden apologist, but let’s call it what it is.) Second, Matt Smith’s comic brilliance is taking second place to Arthur Darvill (Rory)'s new heart-throb hairdo. (Not such a terrible thing, but I found Matt pretty sexy last year, for all his goofiness.) All this comes about since Russell T Davies left the show in the hands of Steven Moffat. Will I stop watching? Hmmm…well, no, not as long as Matt's still in it.

May 1

It's been a whirlwind week of performances. Wed saw me at a dress rehearsal of the COC's Ariadne Auf Naxos. If you think German opera isn't funny, this will change your mind. It’s an hysterical collision between comedy and tragedy. Adrianne Pieczonka stars as Ariadne, though she opted out of the second half of the rehearsal (to save her voice for the opening, I presume.) No great loss, because her understudy, whose name I missed, was a marvel. Jane Archibald is utterly charming as the upstaging tart Zerbinetta. The performance is uniformly praiseworthy.

Thu saw me at the Enwave for a performance by a unique dance duo, the tiny Yvonne Ng and the much larger Robert Glumbeck, who together make up Tiger Princess Dance Productions. It would be inadvisable to focus on their physical disparities, however, because the dance is even more unique, often hauntingly beautiful, and with a perfect blending of east and west.

Fri brought me back to the Tarragon Theatre (where I once endured an unpleasant season as part of the Young Playwrights' Unit) for the English premiere of Forests
, by Wajdi Mouawad. Mouawad is the writer of the critically acclaimed play, Scorched, now a brilliant, Oscar-nominated film Incendies from Quebec director Denis Villeneuve.


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