Attending the matinee preformance of the Steven Berkoff directed
On The Waterfront at Theatre Royal Haymarket yesterday was especially
enjoyable as we were joined by mr and mrs headmaster for the afternoon.
The enjoyment was enhanced by theTheatre upgrading our Gallery
tickets to four really well placed seats in the Royal Circle.
The play's action is set in the New York Docks of the 1950s
when the Catholic Church or at least one of two
good priests made a huge difference to the lives of many
Irish dockworkers whose pay was being drained away by
corrupt gang masters. The special effects were largely
created by the cast themselves. Thus a fantastic scene took
place in a pigeon loft where the cooing and wing flapping
atmosphere of the pigeons was cleverly created by
the human cast.
Another almost menacing piece of theatre was created by two
impeccably besuited memebers of the cast at the edge of the stage
commencing a slow walk in perfect time with each other
then picking up others as they moved around.
A motor car engine idling
atmosphere was likewise created by the cast humming and drumming
and picking up speed with the car acceleration climaxing
with its death crash at speed.
Good Church politics featured too, based on the tensions
between the priests who like to stay in their Church with
their brother priests' view that that "the Church" is
everywhere where the people are - sort of John Boscoe-like.
Afterwards London's much criticised but nonetheless
normally very efficient public transport system whisked
us all back to Wimbledon and supper...