my life

“Why, this is very midsummer madness”

twelfth night.png

Adulthood is strange. One moment, you are putting on red lipstick and going to see the National Theatre’s rendition of Twelfth Night. The next, you are buying pick’n’mix in the interval.

I suppose there are worse ways to spend a Thursday evening. (Unfortunately, this was the tenth night of my Easter holiday, I curse my stars.)

I’ll let you in on a little secret I (the creative writing student), am not a big fan of Shakespeare. I studied A Midsummer Nights Dream, Hamlet and… that’s about it, as far as my memory serves. The bard’s greatness was never thrust upon me.

I’ll confess, I don’t understand half of what the actors said in the play I saw tonight, and I’ll bet (or pray) that I wasn’t the only one in the audience. But luckily for me, the National Theatre company knew what they were saying– and they knew how to set up a joke. I’ve always said that Shakespeare was made to be seen and not read, and I’ve got a copy of the play in front of me– so that I can pepper this post with quotes– and I know that the dry book in front of me– with translations in the margin– does not do the play justice.

Malvolio’s yellow cross-gartered tights weren’t meant to be imagined. They were designed to be seen, and seen by many.

Not that there were many in the theatre tonight. But there were more people than Romeo and Juliet — and anyway, the less people in the theatre there are, the smaller chance of some six-foot bloke sitting in front of me.I swear, everywhere I go– be it concert, festival, corridor or theatre, the tallest person of the room will be standing in front of me, and he won’t give a shit that I’m sitting right behind him, and I won’t be able to move out of my given space or seat, and I’ll spend three hours or more craning my neck and leaning at an angle just to get another inch or two of sight by stealing it from the person behind me, causing a big ol’ problem for everyone involved….

But I digress.

I’m trying harder now, as I grow, to get into Shakespeare. You’re probably not even supposed to like Shakespeare as a kid. Maybe it was meant for kids in 1601, but times have changed a bit in 400 years– unless the sex jokes are in modern English, they just won’t get it. I don’t even pick up on all of them, but then again I don’t always understand innuendos in modern English either.

I’m not here to sell Shakespeare to you– because it’s not for everyone and that’s okay. As I said, I don’t really get it– but I’m trying. Not at the very least, because I only ever read classics so that I can indulge myself with trashy YA novels that have at least one love triangle, daring and dashing female heroines and, queer undertones.

…. Wait a minute. Isn’t that Twelfth Night?

Huh, I guess I’ve got a type.

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