high drama

Living at a university which focuses on things like sport and drama means tat I have a chance to see a lot of stuff which I wouldn’t ordinarily see. This weekend I’m at university rather than going home, and so far today I have seen no less than two performances, a third I saw last night. The good thing is they’re absolutely free to get into, so when my friends say “We’re off to see a performance, coming matt?” I usually go.

However, before you get mental images of me going to some kind of theatre a la RNCM operas, I better explain these are not full plays. They are much shorter, lasting perhaps half an hour, and take place in cramped performance spaces which reminded me of the comedy clubs of the Edinburgh fringe. Thee pieces themselves are also often highly experimental, sometimes confusing and a little weird. Last night’s piece was about wife abuse, the only characters being female, so at one stage one actress rubbed her own face in her fictional husband’s supper. I think she’ll get an Oscar one day.

The piece I saw this morning was an extract from Hamlet. It was exceptionally well performed, making me reflect upon how much I miss the beautiful language of Shakespeare. It was performed in modern dress, and again had an all-female cast which made he fight scenes interesting.

This afternoon I saw a piece about three dead people in hell. Their hell, rather than being that of fire and brimstone, is to be trapped in a room together. Each person loves one but hates the other, so it is hellish for all concerned, but also rather funny.

There are apparently no more plays today but a few tomorrow. I look forward to it.

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