Friday 3 May 2013

A Little Night Music

As the UK constitutional and political system adds to all the preconditions for an impending chaotic descent into poverty and serfdom all we need now is for something to trigger a major crisis.

In the meantime some of us feel that the best course is just to slink away and make the best of a bad job before it all does go hopelessly wrong.

According to my electoral arithmetic which is no more but no less reliable that any of the others being marketed for 2015 we could have a government with a parliamentary majority but which is only third in the total electoral vote.

In the middle of all this we have the slanging, the posturing and all the play ground antics of our Westminster wet and windy rulers.  Ken Clarke is known to be a jazz fan.  A pity he is ignorant of much else musical.

So when he casually refers to the UKIP as clowns for trying to be more populist than he is then inevitably he got the response of “Send in the clowns.”  But the phrase was taken by Stephen Sondheim for his marvellous work “A Little Night Music”.

We saw the 1995/6 production at the Royal National Theatre, one of the best and most treasured performances in our memory.  Given the number, the variety and the quality of these down the decades that is saying something.

The link below is from this production and it has Judi Dench, who I recall as a lovely teenager performing at the RSC Stratford upon Avon in the 1950’s singing “Send In The Clowns”.  It does take five minutes but is time better spent than watching the news.

Poignant, beautifully measured, witty and almost philosophical the whole sense and meaning is far divorced from the latest tawdry and nasty politics going on.

This is going to get worse and worse and perhaps even rough and rougher.

Where are the clowns?  They are here.

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