I had a bit of a surprise e-mail yesterday. Apparently the Prof has had an accident and been signed off work for three weeks, so my Shakespeare course will not be starting next week after all. Instead it’ll begin in mid February, and there’ll be an unscheduled extra weekend in April.

This involved quite a lot of phone calls and rearrangements, since I’d already booked my train tickets and hotel. Also I hadn’t realised how much I was looking forward to it, and the news temporarily tipped me into a bit of a depression. However, on the plus side, it does give me more time for reading and other preparation. After a couple of days getting to grips with “Titus Andronicus” I need that.

TA is Shakespeare meets Tarantino. There are twenty-seven murders in it, some quite arbitrary and all violent. People have been known to vomit and pass out in some productions – the audience, not the cast. A female character, Lavinia, is raped and has her tongue cut out and her hands chopped off. The two guys responsible eventually get baked in a pie and fed to their mother.

It’s difficult to know how seriously to take this stuff. Extreme violence wasn’t uncommon on the Elizabethan stage and this was one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays in its time. But it’s unsurprising that for about 200 years it wasn’t performed at all, and before then the Restoration versions were heavily censored. It also contains Shakespeare’s first real villain, who happens to be black, and almost steals the show from the tragic hero, Titus Andronicus.

So, a good few nightmares for the modern producer there. I’m not sure I’d want to sit through it.

However, I’ve now tacked a couple of days in London onto my February course weekend. I’m going to see Derek Jacobi as Malvolio in “Twelfth Night” and that’s on a Wednesday evening. Rather than go straight to Stratford and kick my heels there out of season, I decided to look up a relative in Surrey and stay a second night in London. I discovered that it happened to be the first night of the RSC’s “Taming of the Shrew” at the Novello Theatre, so I’ve booked for that. It happens to be the first play we’re looking at on the course.

I want to wake up in a parallel universe and find David Tennant and Catherine Tate playing the leads. Not gonna happen, though. On a similar note, I’m very disappointed and rather cross that the hoped-for deal to make a DVD of “Hamlet” has fallen through. It’s particularly disappointing for the people who travelled many miles to see David and were unable to do so. I’m really sad on their behalf, and very glad I got the chance to see the show last year, and grabbed it.

Any contact with DW fandom at the moment just seems to depress me, filling me with a sense of chances squandered and hopes unrealised. Normally good fic can pull me out of that kind of gloom, but although there’s plenty around it seems to leave me feeling miserable. Already, the good times seem very long ago and I can’t imagine staying interested beyond the Specials at all. But we shall see.

I backed up my fiction journal and was rather horrified to discover I posted 128 entries to that alone in 2007. So much for claiming I wasn’t obsessed!


6 thoughts on “Oh…..Okay.

  1. Wasn’t Titus written as a sort of attempt to out-Marlowe Marlowe (and Kyd and Nashe and so on) to demonstrate that he was just as well-versed in classical gore as the university educated gent?

  2. I’m very disappointed and rather cross that the hoped-for deal to make a DVD of “Hamlet” has fallen through.
    You’re kidding. I’d heard nothing about such a deal but was certain there must be one. It never occurred to me that it could fall through. As popular as it was? Both Doctor Who and Captain Picard in it? How could it not be made?
    Did your source at least mention whether it’d already been taped? Surely the rushes exist anyway.

  3. I’m sorry your program’s delayed–I know that’s got to be really disappointing. đŸ˜¦ I’d certainly be disappointed!
    Does this delay cause any potential problems for our getting together for your birthday?

  4. That’s certainly disappointing. I know how much you were looking forward to it, and having to redo all the arrangements is irritating. Still, nothing much else they could do if the professor had an accident, I guess. At least it wasn’t canceled!
    I’m disappointed to learn there won’t be a DVD, but given all the people they’d have to make new deals with, it doesn’t amaze me that they couldn’t pull it off. A simple filmed stage performance would probably satisfy fans of the actors, but I can understand that they would want to do a proper production of the play for filming, which is a different animal.

  5. Oh man, my Shakespeare course began with TA too. I remember reading it and just being stunned for a bit, but I do really love all the underlying themes that Shakespeare weaves in just because he can so brilliantly. But, I mean…even the FLY! Poor thing.
    I must say that I’m extremely jealous of your plans for both TN and TofS! I adore both, and being one of those people who traveled a rather huge distance only to miss David by a week, I’m also rather saddened by the fact the dvd plan has died. I can’t imagine how wonderful the show must have been with David, but all the same, the night I saw was altogether stunning! I only wish I could go casually to the RSC as much as I wanted. You’re gonna see The Master! That’s just insane! XD

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