The weather’s been rotten today, it’s gonna be really rotten tomorrow, Thursday it’ll keep being rotten just not as windy as tomorrow. The forecast I saw earlier predicts heavy rain, lots of sleet and the odd bit of actual snow until next Tuesday morning, not a single segment showed a lack of any kind of precipitation ’til then. Welcome to February! This may be the time to finally break out the Breaking Bad box set.
I’ve been watching Staged sporadically over the last two weeks. I missed all of the first series last June, so had to catch up on that before watching the second, just out in January. I particularly wanted to see it as it is mainly David Tennant and Michael Sheen bickering with each other, well, they were the best thing about the TV production of Good Omens (from the book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – him again). Staged is a product of the current crisis, it’s about this moment in time, all the restrictions on lives, everyone meeting online. I wonder what we’ll make of it in ten, twenty years time?
The premise is that David Tennant (my favourite of the modern Doctors) and Michael Sheen were due to do a play together in the West End, of course it’s on hold due to the pandemic, but the director Simon Evans decides they should press ahead with rehearsals via Zoom………. The three play exaggerated versions of themselves. As this is filmed from their homes their significant others (Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg) and Simon’s sister (Lucy Eaton whose house he’s living in) pop up too. The banter is just wonderful, the beards, the wild-eyed rants and angsty moments, spot on as life in lockdown mode. There is some riffing between Sheen and Tennant but it is mainly scripted by Simon Evans who also directs, stars and co-created it (not to be confused with the stand-up comedian Simon Evans, a Fringe regular).
That was just the first series, the second series isn’t just more of the same, oh no, they take it several notches further. The second series accepts that the first series was just that, a tv series, a successful tv series that Evans has been asked to remake for American television – without Tennant and Sheen! Naturally the two are not happy at this, especially when they’re asked to speak to potential new leads, cue a marvellous parade of guest stars including Jim Parsons and Christoph Waltz. While the second series is still very funny and enjoyable, I do prefer the first, it has a warm charm about it of two great friends just bantering.
Hmmm, if Covid isn’t brought to heel soon, if it keeps mutating and makes the current vaccines useless, will there be a third series of Staged? Just how meta could it get? It’s late, the heating gone off for the night, I need to get snuggly warm and sleep.
G’night, sleep tight. 💛