Clare In The Cheap Seats

Follow Me Around The World Of Art

The Rest Of 2014.

Right, I have been ever so busy these past few months so I have lots to tell you about.


Firstly I start with something that really put a dampener on my Art viewing schedule. Cineplex pulled the plug on screening Royal Opera House performances in September. I was so looking forward to watching Alice in Wonderland in December / January. Sadly I have not been able to find another local cinema (nearest is 100 miles away) hosting RoH performances so I have missed out on Alice and the gang.


Another reason for my disappointment with Cineplex is their rewards card; each time I go to their cinema I collect points towards free tickets. A strange thing happened with this scheme in September. I had collected enough points for a free ticket so I booked myself a ballet as the ticket costs the same amount of points as a normal film but costs $8 more. Off I went to the screening and 10 minutes into the performance I find myself thinking “I’ve seen this before” I was watching Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty and afterwards when I checked my diary I saw that I had indeed watched Sleeping Beauty (traditional) back in April and that too was a free ticket! As with the performance in April I found this one to be a fantastic adaptation of the fairytale, though I am more a fan of the traditional setting.


My next visit to the cinema was to watch Medea. Someone I know was lucky enough to go and watch this play live. He raved about it so much that I looked it up online and thought it something worth watching and I was not wrong. Like Othello that I watched earlier in the year, the play is given a modern setting. The torment and abandonment is plain to see and everyone involved made this a very successful trip to the cinema.


From the cinema I went to the live stage for a visit from the Paris Opera Ballet (a company I once saw live in Paris). This production was 15 years in the making (from the programme notes) and their performance of Paquita was well worth the wait. The costumes were gorgeous and the dancing as I expected from such a talented company. At first I hesitated about buying a ticket as they were pricey but I certainly made the correct decision and my money was well spent.


A complete contrast followed, I went from one of the most famous ballets in the world to a performance by an ape. Mind you it was Kafka’s Ape. This Infinite Theatre production was a very cleaver adaptation of the famous 1917 Report To The Academy. The twist in this play was to show how an animal gained humanity and humans become an animal via military corporations only concerned about profit not people. The night ended on a somewhat funny note, it was my first experience street parking in downtown Montreal and I got a parking ticket for entering the wrong bay number. Thankfully the rip-off $53 charge was dismissed on appeal.  that meant I had more money for the Arts.

To Be Continued…

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2014, The Story So Far

Oh my, I have so much to catch up on. I have been to my first Montreal play, been out and about with my camera and caught the National Ballet via the cinema. In between all the above I’ve managed to pack in lots of films.

I’ll start with my first venture into the world of Montreal theatre. I went to the Segal Theatre to watch The Seagull, a new version based on the play by Anton Chekhov. I found it to be an absolute marvel and for the price ($24) it was a bargain. I have bookmarked the theatre (along with a few others) and will keep an eye on their future productions.

My partner & I went to the local Botanical Gardens back in early March to visit the Butterfly exhibition. Butterflies have always fascinated me ever since I was a child. I find metamorphosis extraordinary and love the colours of all the different butterflies and moths. I have posted a few photos here but check out my Flickr page for the rest.



As I now live in Québec I have decided to learn French. Even with the Liberals regaining power in the Province, French is still an essential tool to living here. I am going to the YMCA and my course starts on 6 May for 7 weeks. Hopefully by the end of June I will have some grasp of the lingo.

As usual, I have been watching lots of films this year. I’ve even managed to catch a few at the cinema in addition to those at home. So far the highlights have been:

Nebraska (cinema)

Her (cinema)

Doctor Zhivago

25th Hour



A Single Man

The Wind Rises (cinema)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (cinema and my first winner from Wes Anderson. Ralph Fiennes is just marvellous)

Black Rain (Japanese title is Kuroi Ame)

I have also rewatched Deliverance & Gladiator, which are both immense films.

But the winner so far this year and the only film to score 10/10 is 12 Years A Slave. Whilst it is hard to watch in places, this film is an absolute “must-see”

Another reason I have been to the cinema was to watch the Ballet, yes the Ballet. Remember when I posted about the Arts being broadcast into cinemas across the world? Well I have been again, this time to watch Sleeping Beauty by the Royal Ballet. I had actually forgot about this performance so I missed the Live broadcast from the Royal Opera House. Thankfully they have an “Encore” screening and it was to this that I went on 13 April. The bonus for this performance was the fact that it did not cost me a cent; it was free! I collect points every time I visit Cineplex so with all films I have watched, the orders placed to buy DVD’s and movie rentals online, I had more than enough points to be able to exchange for a ticket. Hopefully it won’t be long until I have enough points for another free trip.

So what have I got coming up in the next few months?

Well I will be going back to the cinema in May to watch the National Theatre Live performance of King Lear. Later that month we have tickets to the Montréal Symphony Orchestra; details about the concert are here. There are a few films coming up over the next few months that I would like to go and see at the cinema and I have literally around 30 films recorded from the TV. And lets not forget all the Criterions I have to review. Enough to keep me busy and out of mischief 🙂

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Carmen – A Disappointment

I should have looked into this a little more before purchasing my ticket.  I must also learn the difference between what I deem Ballet and what passes for “modern” these days.

This performance was nothing like a Ballet, nothing at all.  For me this was a dance production, a modern dance and not a very good one.  Granted, I have never seen Carmen before and bar one piece of music, was not too sure on the music either, but this was just a mess.  I have no idea what was going on when our ears had to suffer through minutes of almost Neanderthal type noises, that I think were supposed to represent the “passion” between the characters.  It was hideous and most off-putting.

Thankfully I was in the same seats as my previous visit so only wasted $25 on this poor pretence of a Ballet.

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