A Night With Don Juan…

Yesterday’s London juant was a good one. The weather started out quite appallingly. I got lost when I arrived in London (I really don’t do well with traversing London on my own!)…but once I got my bearings and made ot to my first “port of call”, it turned into a lovely night.

First off the bat yesterday was a visit to the Royal Academy for a viewing of the America: After The Fall exhibition. It was quite a small exhibit, with only some 30 paintings on display, including two Edward Hopper’s, several Grant Wood’s and a selection from various other artists, including Joe Jones, an artist I had not previously heard of, but was moved by his amazing compositions. One painting of his in particular had a real emotional impact. It depicted the lynching of a female by the KKK. It was striking. It’s called “American Justice”. I would like to hope that the title was meant to be taken with full irony…for there is absolutely nothing “just” about the imagery of the painting.

There was also one by Philip Guston called Bombardment – it seemed SSOO…foretelling. It was painted in 1937, yet it shows what went on in WWII in amazing detail.

Another one I really loved looking at was one by Helen Lundeberg called Double Portrait Of The Artist In Time (what a title!).

My favourite Grant Wood’s were The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and Death on Ridge Road. I got much more from them than American Gothic, but I was glad to also see such an iconic vision of modern art.

Of the two Edward Hopper’s on display, it was Gas that I liked most of the two. There was something about seeing it with my own eyes that impacted more. How…remote and lonely it felt…and the colour and tone was beautiful. A perfect capture of the very end of dusk on a spring day. That aspect of it was striking. The light…or the dimness of it…it was just captured so beautifully by Hopper. I fell in love with that one. I will have to see Nighthawks again to see whether I like it as much as Gas. (Yes…I was a bad girl and took a sneaky pic of it.)

Both the Grant Wood’s that I liked and the Philip Guston were oil on masonite. Showing how little I actually know about art, I was unfamiliar with this medium (the masonite) and must look into it!

There was even a Jackson Pollock on display I liked! And I’m never usually one for Pollock. 

It was a good, concise exhibition. A small collection, but they pack a collective punch! 

And…onto Don Juan In Soho. I made it down to the Wyndham’s Theatre by 5.30pm. Two hours to kill before show time. I had already used up a bit of time, going to Primark to secure me an inflatable doughnut. Something I won’t probably use now.

I took a walk through Leicester Square…had a drink and a bite to eat…people watched around where the main bit of Leicester Square is. Had a reccie of the Wyndham’s and looked to see where the stage door was…just in case I felt I might be bolshy enough to try and meet David afterwards.

The play itself is wickedly funny, perverse and very dark. The modern Don Juan could not be any more removed from Tennant himself, as a person, from what I can tell (being the son of a Church of Scotland minister). I lost count the number of times he said c***! His poor dad must have been shamefaced in heaven! 

As the quote on the outside of the theatre says (delivered by chauffeur and “friend” of Don Juan, Stan)…we are not MEANT to be charmed by him…oh, but you are. Well, I was! And I wished for that hedonism. To…fuck for the sake of fucking. To just…do as one likes and be damned the consequences! But, alas, that is not me. It never has been and never will be. As Don Juan describes himself, “I am a c***”…but he is a lovable one. 

So, yes…it was very rude, very risqué, but very, very funny, with an underlying message. 

I enjoyed it immensely. 

I managed to leave the theatre quite quickly. Having done so, and with it being quite early still (only 9.40pm), I decided to wait at the stage door for my chance. Roughly 30 minutes later, David appears. When he got towards me, we had a slightly awkward but fun exchange. He was more than happy to pose for the selfie with me. David Tennant, you are a scholar and a gentleman. Thank you! I shall treasure it always, as I will my signed ticket.

It was a good day 🙂

And, as the review from the Radio Times says…it was fabulously filthy!

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