Saw a cool Shakespeare play yesterday

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Masato
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Saw a cool Shakespeare play yesterday

Postby Masato » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:22 pm

So for the past few years for my birthday, the missus has been taking me to this town nearby called Stratford which is famous for putting on quality stage/theater performances. We watch a play, dinner, and stay 1 night somewhere around there.

She did the same again this year but I never know what play I'm gonna see. I don't care really, I find it fun just to see a production of any genre, see how its done, admire the set design and artistic direction etc.

Anyways she didn't know what the play was either, lol she just heard it was good and had been extended by popular demand so she scored some cheap tickets.

As we're entering the theater we learn its a Shakespeare play. I was a bit nervous because I find Shakespeare hard to follow, and english being my wife's second language etc I thought we'd both be lost lol

But to the credit of the actors and director we could follow pretty much the whole thing and really enjoyed.

It was Coriolanus, story of a Roman General who comes back from some major victories only to find that the public is upset with him instead of glorifying him. Its all about whether Coriolanus should stick to his convictions and say fuck the public opinion, or become a hypocrite to his beliefs to appease the people that he supposedly fights for in the first place.

The director decided to do the whole play with the characters not dressed as Romans, but in modern costume. Coriolanus was in modern military fatigues, the other characters dressed in suits etc. Was cool because the story could totally have taken place in modern times save for a few details. Watching in in this context made it way easier to understand, and offered a very interesting commentary on how the themes of the play reflect on modern times.

There was a write-up in the program about how in the modern day social media is the voice of the public, and how it can contradict the efforts of the politicians and generals, and how various sides try to influence it and to what result.

Anyways super fascinating. The set design was really incredible, they used some kind of rear-projection system where they could project different settings to easily and convincingly switch from location to location quickly.

Lots of fun. I think when I am older and not such a busy parent I would like to try my hand at some set design for stage plays

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Luigi
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Postby Luigi » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:11 pm

Pretty cool, though I would have prefered the Roman setting/costumes. I've been to the Stratford plays myself, but not in ages.
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Postby Masato » Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:49 pm

Luigi wrote:Pretty cool, though I would have prefered the Roman setting/costumes. I've been to the Stratford plays myself, but not in ages.


I think it was more interesting in a modern setting. Easier to understand for laymen like me, and also offered some thoughts for how relevant the story may be in today's age and times. War/media/politics etc


I personally find some conspiracy theories about Shakespeare interesting, especially in this light. Many mysteries about Shakespeare, there is little to zero info about him or his life, he just popped out of nowhere. No claim to any high education (his siblings were said to be illiterate), nor extensive travel, nor employment in any high positions... yet he knew so much about the inner workings of government, military, aristocracy, and somehow wrote some of the most complex and genius collections of literature ever.

Many suggest that Shakespeare was a pen name and that his works were written by someone else such as Sir Francis Bacon, or maybe even a secret group of writers. If this is true, his works could be viewed potentially as careful propaganda to instill in the people certain images of 'how the world works', much like TV and Hollywood do today. In the case of this specific play Coriolanus, to perhaps give the people the impression of a 'democracy' in Roman times that never existed, or to make the masses think that the people have more influence over military and political decisions that they may in actual fact. Or to generate sympathy for military generals etc

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Postby Canuckster » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:29 pm

People say they all want the truth, but when they are confronted with a truth that disagrees with them, they balk at it as if it were an unwanted zombie apocalypse come to destroy civilization.

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Luigi
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Postby Luigi » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:53 am

The only Shakespeare conspiracy I know is the one that says he was an Italian using an English name to gain acceptance.

One thing I find interesting about Shakespeare is I grew up thinking he was from medieval times but he was actually living in the 1600s. Britain already had permanent colonies in the east coast. There would have been Canadians speaking their own weird version of Shakespeare era English.
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