Love, Love, Love

An off-Broadway play by Mike Bartlett in three acts, staged by Roundabout Theatre Company.

A small, perfectly placed cast performing the roles of Kenneth (Richard Armitage), Henry (Alex Hurt), Sandra (Amy Ryan), Jamie (Ben Rosenfield) and Rose (Zoe Kazan).

A life. A play about reaching maturity without ever wanting to grow-up. About starting a family, because that’s what everyone does, without ever wanting to part with your juvenile selfishness.

A clash. Of care-free youthfulness against duty-laden responsible mid life. Of generations. Of egocentric, self-absorbed characters.

It begins in 1967.
Sandra, Henry’s smart and witty girlfriend meets his brother Kenneth, a party-going, pot-smoking, life-loving young lad; it is June 25th and the entire world is watching the historic, first ever live satellite programme in which the Beatles performed ”All you need is love”.

Sandra and Kenneth sing along; they dance; they fall in love.

Married. Two kids. Financially secure. High profile jobs. No time to waste. Not least for two needy, self-conscious, egotistic teenagers.

Parents retired. Affluent. Kids are now adults; Jamie resigned, Rose angry, both still lost deep in the generations chasm, unable to accept the world they inherited.

Rose: I want you to buy me a house.
Sandra: smiles.
Kenneth: laughs.
Sandra : A house?
Kenneth: laughs some more.
Kenneth: You’ve got a house.
Rose: I’m renting.


Kenneth: What’s the matter love
Sandra: Something’s wrong, isn’t it? I can tell.
Rose: laughs.

Rose: I’m thirty seven

Rose: So… my birthday. I had a little thing in a bar in Clapham, hired out this little bar, and all my friends came, and two days before I didn’t tell you this, but two days before my birthday I broke up with Andy.
Kenneth: You didn’t… oh… you’re not with.
Rose: No.
Kenneth: You didn’t say.
Rose: You never asked.
Sandra: You don’t like us asking.
Rose: Yeah so I’d already booked this bar, and I went ahead with it anyway even though I was quite… lonely… you know.
Sandra: Oh baby.
Rose: And everyone turned up and some of them with kids and stuff and we had a bit of a dance you know, kept the smiles going but then suddenly I found I was sat on a chair at the side of the room, all on my own, at my own party, and I was crying.
Sandra: Were you drinking gin?
Rose: No.
Sandra: Gin can do that.
Rose: I wasn’t drinking at all Mum but I found I was crying, and it was because I realised as I was sat there, I realised I’d completely fucked it up.

Sandra: It’s not too late, you’re not even forty.
Rose: At my age you had a house, half paid off, two kids, holidays, money.
Kenneth: It was different then.

Rose: Look at you… ”If you can remember the sixties you weren’t really there”. What a smug fucking little thing to say. You didn’t change the world, you bought it. Privatised it. What did you stand for? Peace? Love? Nothing except being able to do whatever the fuck you wanted.

Kenneth: It’s your life Rosie.
It has to be.
He drinks from the wine.
We love you.
But you can’t blame us.
You want us to give up our retirement, our independence, our holidays, our security as we get older, you want to take all of that away from us and just give you a house.
Rose: It’s not fair.
Kenneth: Life isn’t.

And on and on and on it goes – such is the multifarious process that’s life.

Laura Pels Theatre at the Howard and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

November 25th, 2016 (ran through December 18, 2016)

Empirical Reality || Zero Visibility

wiki: → ”On Saturday, July 28, 1945, William Franklin Smith, Jr., was piloting a B-25 Mitchell bomber on a routine personnel transport mission from Bedford Army Air Field to Newark Airport. Smith asked for clearance to land, but was advised of zero visibility. Proceeding anyway, he became disoriented by the fog, and started turning right instead of left after passing the Chrysler Building.

At 9:40 a.m., the aircraft crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 78th and 80th floors, carving an 18-by-20-foot (5.5 m × 6.1 m) hole in the building where the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council were located. One engine shot through the South side opposite the impact and flew as far as the next block, dropping 900 feet (270 m) and landing on the roof of a nearby building and starting a fire that destroyed a penthouse art studio. The other engine and part of the landing gear plummeted down an elevator shaft. The resulting fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. It is still the only fire at such a height to be brought under control.

Fourteen people were killed: Smith, the two others aboard the bomber (Staff Sergeant Christopher Domitrovich and Albert Perna, a Navy aviation machinist’s friend hitching a ride), and eleven others in the building. Smith was not found until two days later, when search crews discovered that his body had gone through an elevator shaft and fallen to the bottom. Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver was injured. Rescuers decided to transport her on an elevator that they did not know had weakened cables. The cables snapped and the elevator fell 75 stories, ending up in the basements. Oliver managed to survive the fall and rescuers later found her amongst the rubble. It still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall.”

I came upon this story only recently – incredible, don’t you think?

November 19th, 2016

Empire Mooring Station

wiki: ”the building’s Art Deco spire was designed to be a mooring mast and depot for dirigibles. An elevator between the 86th and 102nd floors would carry passengers after they checked in on the 86th floor. The idea proved impractical and dangerous, due to the powerful updrafts caused by the building itself, as well as the lack of mooring lines tying the other end of the craft to the ground.”

Absolutely true and downright crazy, something right out of Les Cités obscures by François Schuiten. Imagine for a moment living in a universe where, instead of the subway, dirigibles were a regular means of public transport; and, instead of holes in the ground, masts of skyscrapers played the role of mooring stations 100 floors above ground. Going to work with the head in the clouds  – how much more fun that would be!

November 19th, 2016

Made by Google

Google me this, google me that
If you remember life before google
I’d like you to tell me that!

Do you?

In October 2016, Google opened a pop-up shop in downtown Manhattan’s SoHo, to showcase their Pixel and other gadgets. A cool place where one could try out Google Home features, walk into a Daydream VR world or past the ”Pixel Wall”, a board with rotating cubes that changed composing different images. Interestingly, nothing in there was for sale, although staff would help potential buyers find gadgets they fancied on-line. Via google search, of course.

November 19th, 2016 (now closed)