Friday, March 17, 2017

cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war

Today was as awesome as yesterday wasn't. I woke up and went straight to community breakfast, where Michelle had made me buckwheat pancakes (buckwheat, unlike wheat, is gluten free, and the pancakes were really tasty). Then, I wrote for a couple of hours - in the middle of the night I had a massive breakthrough on something that had blocked me for months, and I was definitely in the flow. I also met Philippa, who is here for the London Book Fair but hasn't participated in any community activities due to an unfortunate illness...and it was one of those serendipitous business-type encounters that can't be planned, but are still good regardless.

However, I had to slough off early - I had tickets to a 4pm play that lasted six hours, and I was *this close* to skipping it. I'd booked it two months ago, and wasn't all that excited to stop working and go...but I went, and I'm so glad I did because it was one of the best plays I've ever seen in my life. It was called 'Roman Tragedies', and a Dutch theatre troupe combined three Shakespeare plays (Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra) into one six-hour extravaganza. This sounds like it could be miserable. But 1) the acting was *incredible*, 2) the 21st century update was perfect, with lots of newsroom-style footage and clips of Trump, JFK, Mandela, etc., and 3) most importantly, you only had to stay in your seat for the first 20mins and the last 90mins. For the entire rest of the performance, you could either stay in your seat, or you could actually go up on stage, sit on couches or mingle around, order wine from the bars (which were also on the stage), and generally get a crazy intense up-close view of the action (both from watching the actors up close, and also from all the tv screens scattered around the stage).

It was inventive, interesting, thought-provoking, and led to a lot of consideration of fame, media, the news, and human nature. There's so much more I would say about it, but I'm tired and also had three glasses of wine, so I'm going to stop myself here. Suffice it to say that I stayed the full six hours and am so glad I went -- the stories that resonated 2000 years ago are the same stories that resonated for Shakespeare 500 years ago, and they resonate for us now, and there's a power to that that can't be explained (but that I am fascinated by).

And now, after coming home and eating peanut butter toast to make up for the fact that my dinner was a bag of chips and three glasses of wine, I need to sleep - goodnight!

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