Monday, 11 November 2013

Diane Lockhart: a touch of fantasy for a magical evening

When majesty strikes life, and at the same time fantasy invades reality, surely we have all the ingredients for a magical evening?

I wrote on Saturday about heading to St Martin’s in the Fields church, for a performance of Mozart’s Requiem, partly in expiation of a broken promise to my son. It was an outstanding evening. 

We’d bought our tickets early and were at the front of the Church, barely out of arm’s reach of the soloists, so we had them singing more or less straight into our faces. That description may not sound particularly attractive, but the experience was inspiring, mesmerising.

And then in the interval, several of us popped down to the café for a drink. Well, you have to really: how many other places can you have a coffee under the pillared arches of a church crypt?

That’s when I practically walked into Diane Lockhart of the celebrated Chicago law firm, Lockhart Gardner.

Diane Lockhart, much as she looked in the crypt of
St Martin in the Fields on Saturday
Now let’s be absolutely clear. I’m fully aware that Lockhart Gardner is a fictional firm in The Good Wife which is, after all, merely a soap, however ingeniously constructed. However, I would maintain to all comers that the woman sitting on her own, looking perhaps even a little solitary, sipping her coffee at a table near the entrance, was not Christine Baranski, who plays Diane Lockhart in the series, but Lockhart herself.

Why, she had Lockhart’s clothes, Lockhart’s makeup, even Lockhart’s poise and elegance. She was Lockhart.

I had to check, of course.

‘Did you see?’ I asked Danielle when I caught up with her, ‘by the door? Diane Lockhart?’

‘I thought it must be her,’ she answered.

‘It definitely was,’ said the young woman at the next table, and when her companion asked, to my astonishment, ‘who?’ she explained ‘Tanya from Mamma Mia.’

Tanya? Mamma Mia? What a load of nonsense. Lockhart’s a lawyer, not an actor. What an earth would she be doing in some Mediterranean romp of a musical?

Naturally, because I’m terribly proud of my English aloofness and dignity, I didn’t approach Ms Lockhart and introduce myself. On the other hand, as I’m just as imbued with English curiosity, I did hang around the edges of the group who, accompanying the Mamma Mia woman, threw dignity to the winds and asked her for autographs. She confirmed the identification and looked pleased at the attention or, more likely, fed up to the back teeth with the attention but professional enough to pretend she was pleased.

For my part, I was delighted to see her there. Things have been a bit tough in the Good Wife recently. A lot of tension. Between some of my favourite characters. A nasty conflict, and since I’m fond of them all, I’m not sure who I really want to see coming out on top.

Lockhart’s earning quite enough (as I expect Baranski is) to be able to pop over to London from time to time for a little R&R. Must be doing her good, particularly since the Mozart Requiem was rather fine. Balm to her soul, I’d say.

The only worry was that I couldn’t see her husband anywhere. I’m sure hardly anyone needs telling, but he’s Kurt McVeigh (ably represented by Gary Cole), a ballistics expert, NRA supporter and general firearm nut. The liberal Lockhart (friend of Hillary Clinton) has nothing in common with him politically, but the warmth of their feelings made a marriage between them ultimately inevitable. Given the stress she’s facing, she must need his support more than ever.

Still, I saw her again outside the Church, after the Concert, clearly waiting for someone. McVeigh strikes me as not the kind of man who would be particularly drawn to Mozart, so he may have spent a couple of hours in more congenial company, perhaps with some fine representatives of the British huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ set. It seemed likely that he would turn up shortly to whisk her off somewhere they could wrap up the night in style.

I hope so, anyway.

At any rate, I was delighted she was there. The majesty of the music had injected magic into the evening. Her presence had provided fantasy.

For that, I owe her my heartfelt thanks.

No comments: