Summer Diversions

Stratford Festival Report: The Winter’s Tale. Perfecto. Done in the style of Richard Monette, by which I mean that the story sings; the action convinces. You’ll be moved. You’ll laugh. You will be terrified. And your mouth will fall open in astonishment.

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well. If you like Brel, you’ll love the show. If don’t like Brel, bet you still have a good time.

Kiss Me Kate, Evita. They’re heavily miked. At Stratford! I can’t believe it. I wore earplugs. I know the younger generation is going deaf. But do we oldsters have to suffer?

The Tempest. The famous speeches on utopian politics and government are delivered in garbled voices by actors facing upstage: very disappointing for the political scientist.

The clowns are not funny. Caliban is the traditional lizard with a foot on the evolutionary ladder going up. There’s a whole crew of the slithery creatures. Fine. The Ariel is something else. She looks like an escapee from the movie Toy Story. Square, blue in colour, tiny. Uncanny; you can’t keep your eyes off her. But does her strange appearance contribute to the play? Our party was of two minds.

Christopher Plummer as Prospero is superb.

Back Home. They’ve opened a soccer field for small children across the road. Everyone out of diapers is welcome and all have a great time, including the parents.

City police are forming a mounted patrol and our neighbourhood association wants home owners with a garden and shovel to do their part in cleaning up the “equine waste.” It’s purely voluntary, you understand. There are no regulations. Not yet.

We’re rereading Ursula LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. And doing the cryptic crosswords. “Hated for ill” mixes up to give the name, Adolph Hitler. I’ve said it before: who’s in charge of the English language? [The clue read: Dictator hated for ill treatment (5, 6).]

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