It was a very long day. One of the people I went to Stratford with has a dog. She doesn't hire a sitter to tend the dog, she takes Nathaniel with her. Taking it means dropping it off with friends who live an hour PAST Stratford. So we had to drive there first, then back to Stratford; then, when the show was over, drive back to get the dog. We started for home at 11 p.m. I got to bed at 1:30 a.m., so I slept in this morning, didn't swim until 8 a.m. So today will be a short day, I guess.
Bigger irritation was the pretentious director's notes in the program. I went to the chamber production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, "Cosmos for a Quartet of Voices", performed by four actors, 2 male, 2 female, playing all the roles. The director, Peter Sellars, might have been a post-graduate student tap-dancing his way through a preliminary pitch of what a great thesis he's going to write. Aaargh! His notes are theatre-speak at the very worst. He says, for example, that the ideal production would be by adolescents just discovering sex and other things. His actors were very touchy-feely, but they had the advantage over teen-agers in that they knew what they were talking about and they knew how to speak Shakespeare intelligently and movingly. They gave weight and emotion to beautiful lines so clearly that I felt as if I were hearing them for the first time.
I do think, though, that Shakespeare would turn over in his grave if he heard the actors put too much weight and emphasis on the mechanicals' words. The Bard knew how to write bad poetry, too, very bad, and he sent up the "tragic" play of Pyramus and Thisbe with very funny, bad verse. The actors were too serious; you had to listen very hard for the humour in the words. That's a small criticism. The production was terrible, too noisy and messy, but it also was a small irritation.
Put it this way, like a score: Peter Sellars, Zero; Shakespeare, 100. Also A-Plus.