Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Rose By Any Other Name ...

A very famous line for a quick post about one of our most recent excursions ... and a few older ones.

The girls' first experience

The reason this particular line is important is because once, about 4 years ago, I accidentally took my (then) 10, 9 and 7 year old daughters to see Macbeth.

The most obvious question is "how did you manage to accidentally take your children to see a play?". To clarify this is how it happened:
  1. See an advertisement advertised for The Scottish Play in uni newsletter, with a synopsis that it is about putting on a Shakespearian production.
  2. Think "Oh that sounds like a good introduction to Shakespeare for the girls and it is only $10 per ticket, plus it's supporting the university. I should go".
  3. Because I am a responsible parent (sometimes), I email university to see if it is suitable for children*.
  4. Uni says that they year 7 students who saw a similar production last year enjoyed it.
  5. Take children on the basis that they like plays and they are good audience members. Audience is full of middle aged people (parents?) a few students (friends?), and us.
  6. Work out it is actually Macbeth with a bit of an prologue and epilogue at the end of each act about why you can't say 'Macbeth' in a theatre.
  7. Spend the intermission trying to explain why a play called The Scottish Play has everyone it Asian clothes
  8. Fail dismally at point 7. Partly because I don't really know why. Artistic interpretation is hard to explain to small children.
  9. Girls love it.
  10. Spend the rest of my life trying to explain it to people that I know Macbeth is often referred to as The Scottish Play, but that the synopsis implied it was a play about Macbeth not actually Macbeth with about 10 minutes of extra bits.
Turns out it was a great accident. The girls are very enthusiastic and wanted to see more. This lead to me developing a theory that children should be encouraged to see Shakespeare's plays. They are too young to understand the raunchy bits, and aren't self conscious about not understanding the words. A good production involves "miming" style actions as much as words. That said, liking Shakespeare from a young age I think helped me develop a love of words.

Helpful tip: Read the synopsis first. Makes explaining things much easier.

The Pixie did create a bit of a mexican wave style giggle when she whispered very loudly "Mama, is he drunk". He was. He was weeing on the wall, but never mind. As a side note, if you have yet to experience Shakespeare for yourself, please remove any delusions you may have about it being all grandoise and classy. Lots of crude jokes in every Shakespeare play I have ever seen!

See! It was still a great show even if I had been expecting something else. Does the title of this post make sense now?

Later ...
I took them to see As You Like It, and Much Ado About Nothing (which Tink was pretty adamant should be renamed Lots of Talking About Something).

Last week
On Friday night I took them to see Cymbeline, which to be honest I had never heard of before. I really liked it. It had lots of drama, romance, fighting, lots people, evil plots, poisons which turn out not to be really poisons, you know, all the good stuff.

I totally forgot to follow my helpful tip about reading the synopsis first. Pixie found all the names a little confusing so made me read the synopsis on the program modernising the names. I don't think it really helped her follow it but she was impressed by my efforts.

She wasn't in a particularly good mood anyway. The Pixie really wanted to do something for Halloween, so we got a little dressed up to go. I was a cat. Pixie was a vampire. Tink was a vampire. Buglet and Apple came straight from dance so they didn't get to dress up.

We also snuck in a quick Halloween party down the road, including reusing the water-melo-latern from my work morning tea!

And just in case you thought that this intellectual stimulation wasn't having any affect on the infants, this was the exchange on the way home in the car ....

Pixie: What Shakespeare plays have we seen?
Me: You guys? Um ... Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Macbeth ...
Pixie (horrified): Mama! You can't say Macbeth in a theatre!
Me: We're not in the theatre, we're in the car.
Pixie: Oh yeah. Continue.
Buglet: Do you have any of the plays written down?
Me (horrified): Yes! The complete works. They're right next to Harry Potter, and I have a few of them in student editions.
 Apple starts giggling
Me: Are you laughing that they're next to Harry Potter?
Apple: No, I'm laughing that she thought you might not have any.

We are off to see Taming of the Shrew in a few weeks, so we clearly haven't been scarred too badly.

*This is actually really important with plays. I took the Pixie and my niece and nephew to see a MA type play because I didn't check ... and we were in the front row! Admittedly that was this year, so ages after this, but that is not the point.

  • I am not qualified to give gardening or beauty or any other household advice. Follow my suggestions at your own risk.
  • I am not qualified to give teaching advice.
  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

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