Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Episode 1003: Doctor Faustus At Shakespeare's Globe

Re-read Joey Comeau's Overqualified and read One Bloody Thing After Another, and now I kind of want to make a trip to Toronto to stalk him. In a nice way, of course, which I think he might appreciate anyway. Also finished The Day Of Small Things, one of the things I need to review. It's about the charitable efforts of a group of Christians in Bridlington, working with gypsies in Romania. The creative writing bits in it aren't exactly the best, a lot of chopped up prose, clanging rhymes and haiku, but given the nature of the rest of the book, short articles describing the experiences of people involved in the Romanian project, it's okay. I am a bit uncomfortable with the number of poems that involve ventriloquism, speaking for gypsy children who otherwise probably wouldn't have a voice (at least not in an English-language medium), but I can see the purpose. Review's probably going to be quite short, but I think I'm going to hold off on writing it until I get back to Singapore. I'm telling myself that I want to focus on packing, which I need to do a bit more of tomorrow, by the way.

Anyway, I went to see Doctor Faustus at the Globe, which was interesting! It didn't make me like Marlowe as a playwright any more (apparently not even watching Arthur Darvill as Mephistopheles can do that), but I did think the staging was excellent. Being able to see the faces of pretty much all the rest of the audience made the theatre experience very different, and the staging of the play was also more straightforwardly symbolic than usual, I suppose. It was, in a way, refreshing, not having to decode and map symbols back onto themes, with everything pretty much handed to the audience. The open-air nature of the Globe also meant line delivery was more declamatory, which did work with Marlowe's writing though, and watching an afternoon performance meant the lighting was entirely natural. The thrust stage also allowed actors to stride into the midst of the encircling audience, which I felt really drew them in. Altogether a novel experience, and I'm glad I made the effort to head down to London for it!

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