It is highly unusual for me to post two Lunedi Lunacies in one day but I really had no choice – the Lunacies just keep piling up!
I will admit that I am not a fan (gasp of disbelief from the crowd) of most of the cult series – GofT, Downtown Monastery, Hitchhickers Guide or (shudder, followed by a gasp of disbelief from same crowd) Doctor Who. So I was a bit startled today when I read that there are people who are ranting and raving that the oft-morphing character of the good Doctor is to be played by a (eye-roll, shudder, and gasp of horror and disbelief from misogynistic crowd) … by a…. by a…. WOMAN! I shake my head, roll my eyes, shudder, and gasp in horror and disbelief that this sort of announcement would solicit a negative response. Or frankly any response at all but that’s another story.
Imagine then my delight to find that my favourite theatre troupe – SFSPT – has greeted the announcement with their normal saucy tongue in toe approach.
I share this particularly for my good friend Rainey on the West Coast. And with special thanks to the SFSPT for putting the world back into perspective.
On this day in 1794: The 16 Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne are executed ten days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.
Well the summer theatre scene here on the Island is an extremely busy one. In town we had the Charlottetown Festival, the Guild, and several smaller companies presenting musicals, revues, and “juke box” shows. Out of town theatres are producing everything from Shaw to Simon with a bit of Norm Foster* thrown in. However what seems to be missing is Shakespeare.
As someone who grew up with the Earle Grey Shakespeare Company on a midsummer’s eve in the Trinity Quadrangle and regular visits to Stratford it’s difficult to imagine summer without the Bard. Surely somewhere on the Island there is a venue suitable for one of the lighter comedies?
But in the meantime to fill that void I turned to those sources of theatrical excellence – the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre.
And as Stratford is celebrating their first production of Romeo and Juliet back in 1960** I thought the SFSPT (now that’s a mouthful) production bears viewing.
Romeo and Juliet – Part the First
Romeo and Juliet – Part the Second
Well that’s my Shakespeare fix for the summer attended to – now to head up to North Rustico for a touch of Shaw.
*Foster is the most produced playwright in Canada with over 50 plays to his name and this year alone 142 productions scheduled around the world from Germany to Australia.
**My lord can it be really 57 years ago that I saw Julie Harris, Bruno Gerussi, Christopher Plummer, Kate Reid and Tony Van Bridge in that incredible production?????
On this day in 1771: Bloody Falls massacre: Chipewyan chief Matonabbee, traveling as the guide to Samuel Hearne on his Arctic overland journey, massacres a group of unsuspecting Inuit.
Well when in doubt for a Monday morning snort, snicker or smirk I know I can always count on the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre to lighten the morose morning mood! (Would you look at that two sets of alliteration in one sentence, oh I am ever so clever for a Monday morning!)
The boys (I’m assuming they are boys but perhaps they, in the true spirit of political correctness, are gender-nonspecific) give us the equivalent of Saturday morning on American Public Broadcasting: a cooking show, a gardening show, and a cartoon! Or it could even be one of those incredibly inane Canada AM shows without the giggling co-host.
On this day in 1817: The first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, is launched.
It has been suggested in one or two quarters that I tend to dwell on things of the past in my artistically inspired postings; that I am stuck in the Pre-modern world. In an effort to dispel that base calumny I thought I’d post an art review on one of the darlings of the post-modern conceptional artistic world: Ai WeiWei. Back in 2010 the Tate Gallery mounted (?) one of his works in the Turbine Hall – millions of tiny ceramic handcrafted sunflower seeds. The artist’s explanation of the work and a fascinating film on its creation can be found here – but in the mean time who better to talk about the work of this popular artist than my old friends at the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre.
And it has also been remarked upon – okay one snarky comment from a person, who like his offspring, shall remain nameless – that yesterday I missed an important birth/death day. According to tradition William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 and died exactly 52 years later on April 23, 1616. And what better way to celebrate that with a (much shortened) performance of one of his greatest plays: King Lear. And once again the SFSPT (hmmm looks slightly suspect) to present it in their own “original practice” style.
Happy Birthday Bill – and my condolences to Anne, Sussana, Judith and the family.
On this day in 1184 BC: Traditional says Troy fell.
To be sure…. to be sure….
I have held forth previously on the fact that as a Son of the Auld Sod (once removed) I will have little or nothing to do with singing songs about boys named Danny, women called Mrs Murphy who’s recipe for chowder includes underpants, or bleary eyes of any nationality accomplishing the near impossible feat for eyes of smiling. I will partake of no beer that has been laced with spinach juice or worse to make my bodily fluids turn green. And I will not kiss some stranger because they are wearing a green made-in-China sweatshirt proclaiming false citizenship*. Nor will I celebrate some snotty nosed Briton who came over and drove all the little folk and fairies underground. Mar sin ann!
And in the spirit of a true cráiteachán I offer the following as my tribute to the Blessed Mother-sweary wording Pádraig!
*Unless they happen to be ginger and built!
On this day in 1969: Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.