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Earthquakes in London

My original plan was to have a quiet few days this weekend.  It’s been a pretty tough week at work, including a 7.5 hour meeting at our Hampshire headquarters on Wednesday. That turned out to be harder work than I expected when my colleague texted me whilst I was on the way there to say that he was ill, and would I please not only cover for him but give his talk for him too….. It would have been nice to take some time off in lieu of that long and rather stressful day, but there was a customer milestone due on Friday, and since it is my job to do a final technical review and give release approval, I had to be there.

So it would probably have been sensible to have a really quiet day today to recover. However, I’d had an email earlier in the week from Malvern Theatres with a special offer of tickets for the “National Theatre on Tour” production of Earthquakes in London, for only £10, less than half price. That seemed too good a bargain to miss, so I booked myself a ticket to the Saturday matinée. I didn’t know anything about the play, but the company have a good pedigree, and I reckoned that if it turned out to be another so-called comedy about cancer I could always walk out half way through.

Well, it wasn’t as quite bad as that, but I did find it pretty dire. It turned out to be a polemic about global warming, and was full of doom and gloom. I didn’t find a single character to be pleasant or sympathetic. It was based around the story of three sisters. The eldest was a cabinet minister,  an ambitious driven bitch who bullied her husband and employees. The middle one was heavily pregnant and suicidally depressed about the thought of adding to the Earth’s over-population. The youngest sister was an attention-seeking druggie student who tried to seduce her eldest sister’s ineffectual husband.  Their father was a renowned climate change scientist, but a deeply unpleasant man, hated by all of the sisters. Even the minor characters were nasty – blackmailers, slimy airline-industry executives, unsympathetic doctors, doom-laden old ladies and self-centred yummy-mummies.

The play was also over-long, with  running time of three hours. At the interval, an hour and a half in, I realised that I was fed up of being lectured, shouted and ranted at about climate change. I didn’t like any of the characters enough to care what happened to them in the second half. So I walked out. I should have stuck to my initial plan of having a quiet weekend!