London, The Goat, and Meeting Damian Lewis

The times I can see Damian in person are few and far between. It was at Damianista’s urging, i.e. pretty much taking me by the hand and flying me out to NY, that my first “sighting” and “meeting” even happened. (I have no idea what those quotes mean or why I used them, just go with me here) I vacillate often between “I’d be fine if I never saw him in person again, good riddance to that level of stress-filled gut-wrenching fangrl angst” to “Fine, I’ll see him on stage or something, but no reason to talk to him privately, is there? Can’t we be normal people for once and just go home and not talk to him?” to “OMG, when are we going to see him again, in what circumstances, for how long, can we possibly have it go longer, and what if…etc. etc. etc.” Truthfully, I spend about equal parts brain energy on those three states of fangrl-ness. Quite similar, in fact, to the brain energy allocation of an average 17 year old girl around prom time.

So, when we heard about The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? coming to London and started talking about it, there I was, torn among those three states. “I’ve got a sister right outside London,” I said. “I can stay with her!” And maybe take a couple weeks and see London, make like I’m 19 again, but, this time, somewhat have the money to do all the London things I’ve never had the chance to do. “Make it about London and not just about him,” said the part of my brain reserved for how crazy all THIS makes me look, justifying the insanity of all THIS by diluting it with a legitimate sight-seeing trip to a legitimate world capital city with loads of things that interest me anyway, even if it weren’t Damian’s home town.

Continue reading “London, The Goat, and Meeting Damian Lewis”

The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? – A review

Theater is unique from books or film because it’s necessarily a communal experience. Actors are in the same space as the audience. The story is fleshed out “live”, with no possibility of rewinding or re-reading. We see their breath, we can nearly see their hearts beating up there on stage and they can hear us too, our laughter, our gasps, and, eventually, hopefully, our applause. All of this combines to make theater an experience like no other.

Like our consumption of most art forms, our venture into the theater is, for the most part, about finding some escape, some entertainment, and, at its most sublime, some window into the human condition. Lots of folks really don’t want art to do more than that, don’t demand any more from it or from themselves when consuming it. Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia, alas, does do more. It’s a window into the human condition alright, but not necessarily one that is very pleasant to see or comfortable to have to think about. It’s a tough play, mostly because you feel pulled, in directions you never would’ve imagined being pulled. The central conceit is a marriage falling apart due to an affair. Not your run-of-the-mill infidelity story, though, as the “other woman” happens to be a goat. Continue reading “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? – A review”

Why “The Goat” is More About Us Than About a Goat

“I almost dare not ask this… but who is Sylvia?” -Ross

The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? has opened to rave reviews and BIG thanks go to the audience members, who happen to be our eyes and ears in the theatre, for sharing some wonderful moments online — like this fantastic curtain call on Instagram.

#thegoat #damianlewis #sophieokonedo

A post shared by Oliver Douglas (@oliverberlinmitte) on

In earlier posts about The Goat here and here, we deliberately avoided from giving any spoilers. But now that the cat (or should I say the goat?) is out of the bag in the play’s reviews, in recent interviews Damian has given as well as in viewers’ posts all over social media, I would love to give my two cents about why I believe The Goat is more about us than about a goat and that it deals with deeper and more universal themes than some might think. Now, if you are planning to go see the play and you are not one for spoilers, STOP HERE. Otherwise, dive in!
Continue reading “Why “The Goat” is More About Us Than About a Goat”

Damian Lewis and Shakespeare

Speaking of Shakespeare in his anniversary month and of Damian’s return to stage also this month, let’s revisit Damian’s turn as Antony. Seems one Antony visited another at the opening of “The Goat”.

In the talk with Stacey Wilson Hunt at SAG-AFTRA Foundation, it is notable that Damian never had straight up formulaic answers for any of the excellent questions asked by the interviewer. He seemed to put some real thought into all his answers. Something struck out as requiring further exploration from that interview. When asked about the best advice he’d been given as an actor, Damian turned it around into a story of his biggest professional regret. Damian tells us that he was once offered a major role in a major Shakespeare production to be staged at the very major National Theatre by, as you can imagine, an appropriately superlative artistic director. In sharing this story, he provided a perfect instance of the notion that our biggest lessons come from our biggest mistakes. Continue reading “Damian Lewis and Shakespeare”

In Case You Missed It: Reviews are IN and Damian Lewis SHINES in The Goat!

“Damian Lewis gives the performance of his life.”

Paul Taylor, The Independent

Damian Lewis has made a wonderful comeback to stage in Edward Albee’s late modern masterpiece The Goat or Who is Sylvia? at Theatre Royal Haymarket. Damian is headlining the play as Martin Gray and stars along the great Sophie Okonedo as Martin’s wife Stevie, Jason Hughes as Martin’s oldest and best friend Ross and the young rising star Archie Madekwe as Martin and Stevie’s son Billie. Tom Kirdahy Productions is producing and Ian Rickson, who was the artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1998 to 2006, is directing the play. The previews started on March 24, and the play has had its Press Night – or Opening Night as we say for Broadway – last night! The play will have a strictly limited run until June 24.

Before the previews started, Damian was a guest on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 answering questions about why he is putting himself into this — doing a play — again, because it’s terrifying, isn’t it? Continue reading “In Case You Missed It: Reviews are IN and Damian Lewis SHINES in The Goat!”

Reviews are IN and ‘The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?’ SHINES! *Updated*

“Damian Lewis gives the performance of his life.” — Paul Taylor, The Independent

Damian Lewis has made a wonderful comeback to stage in Edward Albee’s late modern masterpiece The Goat or Who is Sylvia? at Theatre Royal Haymarket. Damian is headlining the play as Martin Gray and stars along the great Sophie Okonedo as Martin’s wife Stevie, Jason Hughes as Martin’s oldest and best friend Ross and the young rising star Archie Madekwe as Martin and Stevie’s son Billie. Tom Kirdahy Productions is producing and Ian Rickson, who was the artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1998 to 2006, is directing the play. The previews started on March 24, and the play has had its Press Night – or Opening Night as we say for Broadway – last night! The play will have a strictly limited run until June 24.

Before the previews started, Damian was a guest on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 answering questions about why he is putting himself into this — doing a play — again, because it’s terrifying, isn’t it? Continue reading “Reviews are IN and ‘The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?’ SHINES! *Updated*”