Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Review

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Review

On Friday I went to see The Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Everyman, Liverpool.

Possibly Shakespeare’s first play, it has been dragged forward in time to the summer of 1966 and a world of powder blue suits, vinyl records and hippy bands of outlaws.

And it works, for the most part.

I particularly liked the use of records for letters.  The opening of the play incorporates the record player and it’s a technique used throughout the play.  It ties the original script and the musical elements of the adaptation together really well.

The musical demonstration of the differences between life in Verona and life in Milan was inspired, fun and very colourful.

I also liked the ending.  Staying away from spoilers, that part of the final scene was handled well, and the closing of the play was done in a way that gave the leading ladies more power than they were given by the Bard in the original script.

The choice to have a lady playing Thurio was interesting, bearing in mind the other themes of the play, though considering the very strong bromance between Valentine and Proteus, it may have been a deliberate nod to gender fluidity.

And, as always, Launce and Crab, the dog, somewhat stole the show.

I’m not sure how well the apparent dance off between Thurio and Valentine worked, though I understand why it was done in this way, tying it in with the rest of the production.  Also, in some of the opening scenes, the actors were a little quiet and difficult to hear but this didn’t remain an issue for very long.

Altogether though it was a good, fun interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, interesting on its own for showing his journey as a playwright.  A comedy with dark elements put into a technicolour world where people sing and dance.

Copyright D M Day, 2016

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Beautiful

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Beautiful

I love spending time at the theatre, both on stage and in the audience.  As it gets colder, I guess I tend to spend more and more time at the theatre, and it also seems to be a lovely time to encourage people who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre to go.

Recently, I saw a wonderful new play, Amazing Grace, in Leeds with two friends, one of whom doesn’t go to the theatre often but has now faithfully promised to do just that.  Job done then!  Though, to be fair it’s far more due to the brilliant writing and acting in the play than my influence.  The play is a tragedy, about life, and love, and death, and all of those things which any good writer wants to capture properly during their career, but few manage this well.  It’s also a comedy, dark as night, cynical, blunt and painfully true.  The tragedy for you, if you haven’t seen it, is that its run has ended, though I would hope it’s gets at least one more as it deserves to be seen, by as many people as possible.

It also got me to thinking about how we see the world, how we see others, how others see the world and how others see us and how, we’ll never really know.  The truth is most of us are putting on a show every single day, and watching the shows presented to us by everyone else around us.  Reality is something so mysterious, constantly the subject of interpretation and misinterpretation, so unreal, that, in reality, we may never really know anything at all.  But we can try and find the beauty in what we do see.  The beauty of the show and the beauty behind the scenes, if and when we see it.

This is a piece of microfiction inspired all shows, theatrical and otherwise.

Beautiful

Beautiful. Dark eyes. Glossy lips. Eyes follow her like rainbows appearing after summer rain. She stares at her reflection. Beautiful. With drenched cotton wool it is wiped away. Sallow skin appears. Sunken eyes. Chapped lips dragging on a cigarette. The cotton wool is thrown away. Stained. Drenched in colour. Beautiful.

Copyright, D M Day, 2016