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Six Degrees of Separation

I have written here earlier about coincidences and how they seem to abound in London. Here’s another one for you. Recently we went to see the play Six Degrees of Separation at the Old Vic. As I waited for the others I got chatting to an American woman who was there by herself. She had flown over from New York to see the play because Obi Abili, who plays one of the main characters, was a friend of her daughter’s. While he was preparing for the part, the daughter had sent him along to their apartment on the Upper East Side and asked her parents to show him around.

Now, considering that the play is about a young man who inveigles his way into the apartment of wealthy New Yorkers on the Upper East Side by pretending to be a friend of their son’s (among other things), I think that’s a coincidence.

Not blown away? Here’s another for you. Recently my friend the Lovely Writer put me in touch with his friend M so that I could ask her some questions about what she does. (It’s a long story). Relevant to this is that M used to be a PA to A Famous Person. I was telling this to my friend K who lives in New York (I know this is tedious, sorry) and K said that he had heard of M, because M used to live in his apartment ie was there before he moved in. Bear in mind that K and the Lovely Writer don’t know each other -they’ve met a couple of times though me – and you will understand the bogglingness of the coincidence.

Come to think of it maybe these are not London coincidences but New York coincidences. The play, by the way, was only ok. The best thing about it is the title. The playwright starts off with one of the oldest and potentially most gripping stories in the world – a stranger comes to town: is he who he says he is? – and fails to make it dramatic. Firstly he gives away right from the beginning that no, he’s not who he says he is, and then instead of exploiting the emotional potential of the story he uses his characters as mouthpieces for a lot of theories and opinions. It’s not a bad play – there is a lot of interesting stuff going on there – but it’s not great. Top marks to the Old Vic, though, who not only provide £10 tickets on a Monday but also upgraded us to stalls.

Also it all went towards my resolution to see more theatre, which I’m amply doing. So far this year I’ve seen three plays – Three Sisters at the Hammersmith Theatre (excellent, and has Romola Garai in it who I think is fab), Greta Garbo Comes to Donegal and Six Degrees of Separation, with two more (Jerusalem and Enron) to come. Unfortunately because I’ve spent most of February being sick, I’ve become completely unfit, but hey, Rome (nor New York) wasn’t built in a day.


  1. Oh, I want to see Jerusalem! Amazing reviews and also my brother's friend Tom Brooke is in it and he's a lovely man. Let me know what you think…

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