Viper Squad Ten

[ Sunday, May 16, 2004 ]

But software. What light through yonder Windows 98 breaks
Starbuck [17:47] Comments: 0 []
Realising that my entire notion of culture was becoming that comfortingly-smelly stuff that grows behind my ears, I jumped at the chance of heading over to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on Friday to watch the RSC's production of Romeo and Juliet.

Arriving at the Theatre in the warm light evening, I felt a chill of trepidation come over me when I saw that an a number of fleets of coaches had disgorged several armies of restless schoolchildren, and they were swarming, noisily, up the steps of the theatre. I remembered my own school trips to the theatre to see Shakespeare, and I remembered the distracting hum of disinterest that our philistine selves created in the auditorium.

We took our places right up in the Gods, and the sound of a thousand excited chattering conversations about how, like, my boyfriend is so, like, selfish, and do you like my pink mobile phone cover washed over us. I thought to myself that this would no doubt be a painful experience, but that at least it might form the bedrock of an interesting blog post, before considering that such thoughts perhaps meant that I was too reliant on this blogging outlet (COME ON WORLD, PISS ON ME! I CAN WRITE ABOUT IT!). But I digress.

I shouldn't be so cynical - they were good as gold - quiet, and obviously interested enough to laugh at the bawdy bits ("my naked weapon is out" - !)

And it was a very good production. I must admit that I usually lose it a bit in Shakespeare - I struggle with the Olde English language, and I did for parts of this. However, maybe I enjoy these things more, when I'm unable to concentrate on every last word, but I know the gist of the story; I subsequently feel less constrained by processing every sentence, and can just enjoy the mellifluous flow of speech. Excuse me for being intellectually-lacking, but it felt akin to listening to ambient techno at times - you can let it wash over you and enjoy it, but you can also focus in on the intricacies when the fancy takes you...

And what intricacies! Years of endless soaps and gameshows must have ground my intellectual capacities into dust - I'd forgotten just how powerful some of these words were, and just how visually beautiful Shakespeare's poetry could be.

And then last night I watched Fight Club for the umpteenth time - perhaps Palahniuk is what Shakespeare would be doing if he was still alive today. That, or he'd have turned into some bloated wee-smelling Ben Elton-Lloyd Webber amalgamation...

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