‘Tis the season
Something funny goes on in Theatre as we near Christmas … no, I’m not talking about pantomimes, although believe me, they are out there; please no one make me watch Jedward … seriously. I mean the tradition of bringing out the classics (meaning plays that aren’t contemporary, not in a ‘calling Shakespeare Old English’ way, which makes me want to beat people over the head with a copy of the Complete Works).
Maybe the use of well established texts comes from our love of nostalgia and the familiar around the Festive season; maybe because there are some cracking comedies amongst them, and we need a good laugh to warm us up; maybe we just experience more new plays during the summer with our various festivals.
Whatever the reason, this isn’t meant as a criticism … the words may be from old school writers like Gogol, Shakespeare, and John Ford; but they are most certainly being done in new ways. The Abbey’s production of The Government Inspector has been adapted by Roddy Doyle; Text Messages in the Project Arts Centre may have started with Shakespeare, but has been whipped into a frenzy by 9 artists, who have the restriction of 20 minutes and 160 lines to play with; and The Making of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by Siren Productions has wandered away from the original, to present an exciting film of a play within a play. Anyway, I like older plays; visiting the second hand section of Chapters is my version of looking at porn
I hope to experience all these productions in the not too distant future; then I’d like you all to get ready for some brand spanking new writing in February with our Collaborations festival.