Monday, 7 December 2015

Spectre, Lady in the Van and Abba madness!

Had a busy cultural week - not that one could call Abba 'culture'.... nor James Bond.... and not even Maggie Smith.
    Went down to the Hastings Odeon to see Spectre. We weren't that keen on the last James Bond, Skyfall, too much inner agonising and psycho-babble. Looking at the post I wrote about it back then I read that the cinema was heaving - this time, it was virtually empty. What's more, the screen we sat in had obviously been poshed up - new seats, more leg-room and no sticky floor. Interestingly, as I've been moaning about the wet, windy weather, I also see that in back in November 2012 it was apparently worse than it is now. How quickly we forget.    
     Anyway, this was a much more straightforward Bond movie - good locations, including the brief sequence in Rules Restaurant, which Battleaxe visited a few weeks ago. I see that the restaurant was closed for three days for filming, for a scene which only lasted about 30 seconds.  Overall, though, we felt that the plot did not have the dynamic progression of earlier Bond movies, and still too much back plot. Do we really care that the arch-baddie was some sort of reincarnated Blofeld? No.
      I also didn't like Bond's tailoring. He should be wearing classic English style suits, not Italian-look natty tight-trousers and skimpy bum-freezing jackets. He only needed winkle-pickers to complete the look. Not good.
OK Bond....

Wear better suits, Bond.... this is too skimpy
     We got some cheap discount ticket offers from the Odeon - soon they'll be paying us to go - so decided to go again to see The Lady in the Van. Had been a bit dubious about it. I'm tired of boy eternal Yorkshire lad Alan Bennett, and had a surfeit of Maggie Smith doing her dowager Downton thing.  However, the film was much better than I expected. Very well acted, and an interesting back story about the heroine's life.
The Lady in the Van
     On Friday a group of us went to the White Rock to see the Abba Tribute show. It was really excellent - great fun, and several of us ended up dancing in the aisles, along with most of the audience. The band: 'Waterloo, the best of Abba' was really professional - the two girls had great voices, they had all the moves, the costumes etc.
     Only downside, the theatre was surprisingly empty. I was astonished - had expected it to be packed with Abba fans d'uncertain age. Still it gave us more room to dance.  Here's a taste of what you missed!

     It's a worry though, I can't believe the theatre would have covered its costs with that size audience. They have to heat the place, pay the band, pay the staff..... I've said before that it is hard to fill that great barn of a theatre, but it needs to make ends meet. 
     The town needs one decent size theatre.  Eastbourne does not seem to have trouble sustaining several, surely we can support one?
     Come on Hastings, we'd better use it or we'll lose it!