We’re fixing to go see a Shakespeare play today and it is one of those that is somewhat diametrically opposed to the last one we saw.
The last one we saw was last year when we saw “As You Like It”. A light comedy with some funny characters, some decent speeches (it’s the one with “all the world’s a stage”), and one of those “where the heck did *THAT* come from?” deus ex machina happy endings (the guy who set everything in motion by being a jerk decides, off camera, to stop being a jerk).
A decent enough play, I guess. Some interesting stuff in there for 2015 eyes, some interesting stuff in there for those who want to try to see it unmoored from time/place (I should have saved this line for talking about Othello).
This time, however, we’re going to be watching Titus Andronicus. This one is *NOT* a comedy.
We saw a production about a decade ago where there was a minor scandal involving people in the audience fainting on the first night due to the over-the-top graphic violence (apparently, the people in the front row got splashed). By the time we caught the show three or four nights later, they had toned it down. (There was still a lot of room to do some pretty gruesome special effects, though.)
The production that we’re catching today is going to be produced by a different company entirely and, this time, the hook is that it’s an all-female cast. Titus is played by a friend of Maribou’s who warned “be ready for gore” and so our prep for the play will involve eating early rather than right before.
And now I’m fixing to read a quick synopsis and read through the “Why, lords, what wrongs are these!”, “Hear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay!”, and the “You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome” monologues, and get ready for a night at the grand guignol.
And, maybe this is just me, if I were going to say “let’s *REALLY* go over the top!” with the special effects, I’d do it on the last night… and this is the closing night of the play.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?
(Featured Image is “Edison’s Telephonoscope” by George du Maurier from Punch Almanack for 1879)