May. 31st, 2016

danieldwilliam: (acting)

Last night I watched A Midsummers Night's Dream as adapted by Russel T Davies.

I quite enjoyed it.

I have mixed feelings about the play. It's the most hipsterish of Shakespeare' plays. Which means it was probably writen by the Earl of Oxford. Not content with writing one play we get the play within the play. And the Mortals are performing for the Fairies, who are performing for us. Hamlet also has an internal play but that's about the use of propaganda. This play is about itself.  It's a play about plays, about players, and playwrights, a play about being in a play, a play about plays about plays. And therefore as exciting as a night at the Baftas.

I also find the Mechanicals quite unamusing. They feel forced and unfunny. A bit like my accountancy exams; the main thing I enjoy about Bottom is when he's over.

On the other hand I enjoy the farcical element of Hermia and Helena, Lysander and Demetrius wandering through the forest each in love with the wrong person, misconstruing everything that is said and getting more and more irrational and lost. Which then bumps up against the plotting and cross-plotting and plots gone awry of the Fairies.  Then love triumphs over pride and everyone is happy. There's no dog on a string but you can't have everything.

I also have mixed feelings about the adaptation. It was brilliantly lush. Well performed. Fast enough paced. I'm not convinced by the pseudo-fascist trappings or the death of Theseus or entirely sure what was going on with Hippolyta.

What I loved about the adaptation was the brilliant performance of Fisayo Akinade giving Flute's brilliant performance as Thisbe. In amongst all the silliness and ham, intentional and untentional, he rounded off the peformance with a reminder that stories, and plays and films do have the power to move us and to change us.

Early one morning I shall try the Captain on it and see if he goes for the bright colours and the silliness.

danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
Last week's weekend was a belter but tinged with worry.

Mostly lovely and sunny with some odd weather to make things interesting.

Saturday morning had the usual early start to watch Red Dwarf with the Captain. Then soccer in the park with his school. I was observing to the dad of one of the other kids that the kids seemed to have gotten the hang of kicking the ball when the Captain got a sturdy shot right in the chest which ricocheted in to his face, flooring him. He was a hurt. So much so that I was half way to him before he was coaxed back to his fit.

After a snack it was time for rugby. The Captain was sin binned for offside during the tag game. Harshly I thought. Unfortunately the fact that the Captain was sitting on the sidelines slipped the mind of the  coach and the Captain was out of the game for quite a while. He took this in quite good spirits. Considering. Generally a good standard of play but not quite as keen as usual all round. What was nice is that the kids are begining to remember each other and interact as pals.

Saturday afternoon was snoozey.  I fixed the new loo seat. It is silver. I'm not sure I love it but I don't hate it. Had a bit of a nap whilst listening to the cricket whilst My Lovely Wife and the Captain painted paint samples on to paper so we could compare colours to the short-list of wallpaper. We discovered that the understair cupboard door had been painted shut by the painter. My opinion of tradesmen took another knock - painters in particular.

Sri Lanka would be a better team if they picked a few batsmen and bowlers to go along with the 11 fielders they seem to have brought to England.

The living room is to be redecorated with similar wallpaper and paint to the current offering. I favour a wallpaper pattern with some peony roses which I would team with a red couch.

MLW then watched the Musketeers (which I'm sceptical about at the moment) and House of Cards (US version) which I think is great.

Sunday also started early. Most days start early. We went to see watch the start of the Edinburgh Marathon and cheer on a couple of friends. We saw them both but, slightly embarrassingly only after they had spotted us. Then brunch with WidgetFox in Soderburgh, the Swedish cafe in Quartermile. They do a few things very well. I enjoyed my breakfast. It was lovely to see WidgetFox. We spoke about cricket and cycling and whatnot.

After brunch MLW, the Captain and I set off for Crammond. We crossed the causeway to the island and walked clear across the island to the Firth of Forth. Adventure abounded. It was a long and winding road and we had to rely on our native guide on the trek. At least this was the Captain's view. The far end of the island had a) more bunkers - we went in them all, b) lots of broken glass which we avoided c) what looked like day two of a weekend camping and drinking and dancing party (The Captain did not care for the loud noise - I was impressed by the quality of the stereo d) a great view of one of the islands made to look like a battle ship and used as a decoy.

This prompted a discussion of the battle of Jutland (it being the anniversary this weekend), British naval strategy during World War One - the blockade of Germany, starving the Germans, not losing a battle being more important than winning one. This was followed by the German bombing and submarine campaign in the Second World War directed at blockading Britain. Then we talked about the Captain's great-great-granddad who had fought in the Boer War which took us to concentration camps. Marathons reminded us of the Graeco-Persian wars.  Later the Captain wanted to know about a war that had happened since he was born - so Syria.  All in all not very jolly but he was fascinated and kept asking questions. Including asking me how I knew so much about things.

We went out for tea to a Chinese buffet. Very nice as these things go. Buffets are easier with the Captain because he can eat straight away and can look after himself. The spicy aubergine stood out for me.

MLW was babysitting so I read the Captain some stories and then watched a bit of television before reading an interesting book about Homer. So far it is very much about the emotional experience of discovering Homer but pretty light on facts or theory. I'm sure we'll get to it, but so far the author likes Homer.

The bad news came at the very end. Woke up very early on Monday to a message from my sister. She had spent the night at A&E having cut her hand very, very badly on a broken glass. This sucks for all sorts of reasons beyond the obvious.  The news today is that she has probably escaped permanent tendon damage but will need an operation on Thursday.


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