Monday, 7 March 2016

Shakespeare and Stuff

After Alice Roberts and Neil Jordan, my day of Bath Lit. Fest. on Saturday continued with their 'Shakespeare Gala', which I saw with my friend T.

The brochure wasn't very detailed, so I was not sure what to expect.

The first half of the evening was series of short scenes presented by The Salon Collective , who explained that the scenes were prepared for in the way that actors in Shakespeare's own day would have received them: each actor being given only their own lines, and the 'cue word' -the last word of the preceding speaker's line, so they do not necessarily know what the scene is about or who else is involved.

The scenes they performed were all Shakespearean, mainly linking scenes, so we had Emilia helping Desdemona prepare for bed, rather than a big confrontation between Othello and Desdemona.

It was interesting, although not as much fun as I had hoped.

There was then an extremely long interval, and I think a lot of people left  during the interval,as there seemed to be a lot of empty seats for the second half. Which is a shame, as the second event was a lot of fun!

It was a largely improvised performance, based on suggestions as to style and content from the audience, and performed in extempore Shakespearean verse. Our show was a late comedy, entitled 'The Wives of Bath' and involving  mistaken identity, lechery, treachery, and just a soupcon of history, all interspersed with occasional pauses for the artists to explain the rhyme schemes they were using.

It was very, very clever, and enormous fun.

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