Thursday, August 20, 2009

When a problem comes along, you must whip it

^ It's not every day you see a can of whipped cream in the garden at work. Rather unusual.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Assail'd with fortune fierce and keen . . . Led on by heaven, and crown'd with joy at last

On Saturday night, we went to see the Bell Shakespeare production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre (sort of a belated birthday outing for me and part of a plan to drink in even more Melbourne culture before the end of the year) (oh, and by "Melbourne culture," I mean the artsy good stuff, not so much the Underbelly, trackpant-wearing, inner-city violence sort of stuff).

In short, it was amazing.

And now, in long...

The production is in association with TaikOz, which was something I had wondered at before the play. Would it be distracting? Or too loud? There wasn't anything to worry about. They complimented the performance and the play very well and I was impressed with their work.

The set design and costuming was great - the simplicity was something I particularly loved, and the twist on things with the Asian styles of set and costume was enjoyable (although also unusual with it being ancient Greece in 17th century English).

As for the performances - excellent.

Marcus Graham in particular is adorably adorable! But that's more about him and his compact size rather than his acting. His acting was very good apart from all of the adorable-ness. I also loved the performances of the actors playing Dionyza and Cleon (and not just because the guy looked remarkably like my friend G - I nearly fell off my seat when he came on stage. The lack of tattoos was the only giveaway that it wasn't him).

Other highlights included the performances of the actors playing Gower and Helicanus. Plus the wonderfully bawdy addition to the brothel scene from the lady who also played Dionyza had everyone in stitches and I'm 99% certain Shakespeare would have loved those little touches ("Ohh! Big boat!").

The cleverest and totally accidental moment in the performance was when some jerk in the audience's phone rang. Things went quiet on stage momentarily, while someone seated behind us growled for whoever it was to turn the damn thing off. Silence reigned again, just in time for Pericles's line...

"Who is this?"

Audience dissolves into laughter and wild applause.

Actually, just an aside while thinking about the audience response. They were totally absorbed in the play throughout the entire performance. The silence was one of intense concentration and enjoyment (although there were lots of laughs at mostly appropriate moments).

As with reading the play itself, I found the final few scenes dragged, although the acting was still of a high quality. It's the material - it's rather dull. If people's pet theory now day is that Shakespeare didn't write the whole play, I say perhaps the final scenes were what he didn't write! They're dully not like him, whereas the first few scenes, which are apparently what some scholars say are the ones Shakespeare found partly written - are, I feel, the most redolent with wit, humour and intelligence and have a fair number of similarities with other plays by Shakespeare.

Plus the stuff about the use of the chorus - perhaps it's just that Shakespeare was using an integral element of traditional Greek plays for best dramatic effect. Plus the content of the play spans so many places, years and so on that it's necessary to have that "guide" or the audience could easily get lost. Plus, there's loads of wit in the lines of Gower.

But the stuff about authorship is all just my own personal opinion and I'm hardly a scholar of Shakespeare (one semester of Renaissance literature at uni, a few of his plays at high school and reading some of his plays for enjoyment doth not a scholar make).

^ Stoplight sunset on Saturday.

^ Rainbow created by the "stick" on the venetian blinds in the laundry.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

From infancy on, we are all spies...

I love public transport for what can be overheard.

The following are a recent selection of choice overheard moments, all of which had me laughing on the inside and furiously scribbling them down in a notebook to bring to you on my blog, dear reader.

Random farm-type guy on the train to two mates: I dreamed my arms were amputated there *gestures to upper arms* and they put crab claws on. I was really worried when I woke up that they'd fall off.

Minigoth: A monkey attacked me! Although it wasn't an actual monkey. It was a cat.

Minifauxgoth in terrible hat: I'm the crazy trolley lady!!!

Charles Hawtry-camp teen guy: I'm not gay! Although I have been known to turn. And like men exclusively.

First teen guy: Do you know of Harry Potter?
Second teen guy: Yes.
First teen guy: What do you think of him? Did you see the movie?
Second teen guy: You realise we're surrounded by people who like him, don't you? So how do I put this nicely? Harry Potter is a b@stard. Everyone else does the work for him and he gets all the credit! B@stard!

Teen guy: I love Americans! They're an endless source of parody!

Teen girl: I got kicked out of Big W today for sucking the helium out of the balloons.

Teen girl about music on bus: What the f**k is this? Jazz!??!
Teen guy, angrily: It's not jazz, you tart! It's Queen!
Teen girl: Oh. So it is.

Teen girl in bad hat, excitedly: I found a cake on the side of the road once!

There's another thing I overheard, which is really, really tempting to post, but I don't think I can. Still, it was definitely a day full to the brim of amusingly bizarre things to hear.

Also: people. They are freaks.

But that's not always a bad thing.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Ways in which I can tell I need more sleep #3658:

Me, trying to get dog into doggy bed, singing: What's in the box, in the box, what's in the box today... *Dog hops into box, I put a blue towel over her as a blanket, she pokes her head out from under it, looking like she's wearing a shawl* Aww, it's the Virgin Mary. Wait, is that blasphemous?

Maybe it was, seeing as it was followed a few hours later by rather apocalyptic weather featuring gale-force winds, rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Something for the whole family.

^ I'd call it a Mexican standoff, but I'm not sure if that's a politically correct term any more and I don't think the dog even realised that the cat was most likely plotting murder (with the look in his eyes that said he wanted to rip the dog limb from limb and beat her over the head with the soggy ends). He restrained himself, though, and in the end they came to some sort of agreement, which involved the dog being nowhere near the cat.

Random photo moment

^ Graffiti that nearly made me fall off the bench laughing on Friday. Not sure why, but it's probably because it was so teenager-y. The things you see on/in/around bus stops and shelters, eh.

Incidentally, I haven't been taking public transport as much lately, which has led to a dearth of overheard hilarious things. On Friday, when I was getting onto the bus, the driver said to me, "How are you, sweets? Haven't seen your smiling face for a while!" I was like, "Aww, bless!"

Now to overhear amusing/crazy/unusual things instead of being the one saying them (like the other weekend down in Melbourne with Taylor and a second-hand bookstore, where he walked up and said, "Tsk, tsk, tsk," about a book I was holding, to which I replied, "What's that, Skippy? Little Timmy's down by the billabong?" "Tsk, tsk!" "And he's ON FIRE!?" "Tsk, tsk, tsk!" "Oh well, I guess it's too late for him now...").