Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 5, 2010

One Summer Day

As a late celebration of my birthday – yes, we drag this out for a month — my friend Sue and our husbands went to see Richard III performed by the wonderful Shakespeare and Company http://www.shakespeare.org/. Thankfully this was abridged: three hours instead of five, Shakespeare’s longest play. There were a lot of heads to fall. It’s not his most famous play, and not his best, but we did get to nod at the first familiar line, if few others. The acting was superb, and my husband was fascinated with the spare set: lovely arches on wheels that actors spun away in fluidly choreographed movements between scenes. We loved the depiction of ghosts in the last act, and a final scene in which two military leaders, one good and the other as evil as you can get, spoke to their troops: we heard a line or two from each, followed by the other, making a clear contrast of how a group of people might be motivated.

I like a play where you can see cool sword fighting, but don’t have to see blood, as in a movie. We hope to get back for another, but merrier, play. But as I write today, I’m thinking more, way back in mind, of the swim my husband and I took afterward. The three little girls who walked up and down the beach in their pink ruffled suits, sometimes three together, sometimes in different pairings, always as if they owned the shore: they’re what are sticking with me as I settle into work.

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Responses

  1. Always as if they owned the shore–I love that. 🙂

    The coolest Shakespeare production I ever saw was Richard II, with the only sets being big white blocks (fake stone?) standing and laying in different positions. Think Stonehenge, but with rectangles. Beautiful.

  2. I like that play! I really like the creepy relationship, which kicks off with this quote:

    Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?
    Was ever woman in this humour won?
    I’ll have her; — but I will not keep her long.

  3. It’s amazing how in a good play a simple, yet well designed set, is all you need.

  4. Kelly, you like ALL the plays, yes? And those relationships: ew.

  5. I cannot yet say that I like all the plays. There are still about 10 that I haven’t read, including Titus (so much stabbing) and Timon of Athens (no clue) and Coriolanus (no clue).

    But I loved Richard as an anti-hero. He’s so attractive, even in his malevolence. (Also? He gets a bum rap in the play, but that’s to be expected when Shakespeare was writing for a Tudor queen.)

  6. I agree with you about the gore!

    I was so sorry not to get out to see a Shakespeare and Co play while we were in Massachusetts. But I’m excited to be living so close to Stratford now. It won’t make much difference for a while — at this stage we might as well be light-years away — but in years to come it should be wonderful.

  7. It’s wonderful to be living close… for those years to come. You breathe distinguished air.


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