Communicator (communicator) wrote,

What fools these mortals be

As well as watching Doctor Who, this weekend I went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream in Stratford, and I went to the Chatsworth Horse Trials.

MND was good, of course. Quite dark, and wipe-you-eyes-laughing funny, like they generally are nowadays. Humour in Shakespeare works much better recently doesn't it? Not sure why. More confidence for expanding on the text perhaps. There was a bit of a tendency to declamation by the leads, which calmed down as the show went on, and it was clear the audience were responding emotionally.

Perhaps because the costumes were elaborate they didn't do the doubling-up of roles (Theseus=Oberon etc.) which was a shame. However the production did achieve a sinister dream-like atmosphere. The fairies were played by adult men and women in goth-type clothing. At times they carried empty-eyed little baby doll-puppets, and the mortals reacted to the dolls as if that was all they could see (apart from Titania, who could be seen by Bottom of course). This made sense of the visibility/invisibility of the fairies, and their ambiguous size as tiny or large. And then when the night was over there were dead fairies/discarded puppets on the stage.

The Horse Trials took place in the massive grounds of Chatsworth House, high up in Derbyshire, laid out by Capability Brown about 250 years ago. Events like this are like SF conventions, but with natural daylight and exercise. Horsey/doggy people are just as eccentric and enthusiastic as SF fans. Horse trials aren't my cup of tea particularly, but my sister and me walked about the cross country course, watcing the horses take massive flying leaps over fences, and I had to be impressed.
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