Saw the remarkable Miriam Margolyes in her one-woman show, Dickens’ Women, at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (“The Cultch”). She is 71, full of energy, and chameleon-like as she moves seamlessly from character to character. She concentrates mainly on women, as the title implies, and they range from the well-known (Great Expectations’ Miss Havisham) to the obscure (the dwarf manicurist from David Copperfield, Miss Mowcher). Her face and voice change in an instant: her ability to rapidly switch between the pomposity of the beadle Mr. Bumble and the dreadful coyness of the workhouse matron, Mrs. Corney, in their unlikely courtship scene from Oliver Twist brings the house down. She had the audience completely in her hands.
Margolyes has a great look for character acting. Her resume is extensive, from live theatre to movies to voicing animations. You might recognize her as Professor Pomona Sprout from the Harry Potter movies or you might remember seeing her as Madame Morrible in the London or New York performances of Wicked, or in one of the many movies she’s been in.
Chickpea fries from Storm Crow Tavern, the very-Commercial-Drive place where you can drink beer and wine, play board games, and order appetizers or mains, all at a flat rate of $6! I would happily pay twice as much for the slightly spicy, crisp on the outside, soft but textured on the inside, chickpea fries.
The Kay Meek performing arts centre in West Vancouver is a beautifully designed facility of two theatre spaces. The location of the centre is slightly obscure, which may add to its charm and it didn’t seem to daunt the audience for Tafelmusik’s Galileo Project: The Music of the Spheres last week.
Astronomical images are projected onto a round screen at the back of the stage. The performers move around the stage and into the auditorium, so that you feel part of the music. The video, below, makes the performers whirl in space, but it’s hardly necessary to add these special effects since Tafelmusik is able to project that sort of celestial mystery and joy through their music: