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A Shakespeare haggadah

Okay, I ended up doing something for HASHTAGSHAKESPEARE400 after all!

Tonight is also the second night of Pesach (Passover), and I put together a sort of Shakespearean accompaniment to the haggadah (the big book that everyone at a seder will have a different version of). It’s not a full haggadah, but you can read it along with most parts of the seder.

There are some bad jokes and probably some mistakes too. Any corrections or comments very welcome!

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Tabletop Shakespeare: Henry VIs and Richard III, Forced Entertainment

I first saw Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works, where they perform 36 of Shakespeare’s plays by moving household items around, on a livestream from Berlin. A lot of the Shakespeare Twitter people were watching and it was an excellent international play-watching experience thing (a bit like the Almeida’s Iliad and Odyssey – I really do love these and again cannot wait for the MA thesis on them). When Forced Ents took it to the Barbican in March, I got tickets to the Thursday night, which was the Henry VI trilogy and Richard III. Each play started about on the hour and took about 50 minutes.

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In the Barbican Pit there were metal frame shelves of the props (actors?) for each play, labelled with sticky tape. You could look for the two pairs of twins for the Comedy of Errors, or the four ladies and four lords in Love’s Labour’s Lost. I was there with friends Steve and Meg, who have been going to Forced Ents stuff long enough that the performer Richard recognised them and came over to say a quick hello before the show, brush with fame!

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Drunk(ish) Theatre: “Guys and Dolls” at the Savoy Theatre

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Cast of Guys and Dolls on tour in Manchester: Sophie Thompson, David Haig, Jamie Parker, Siubhan Harrison. Photo Manchester Evening News.

 

The show: Guys and Dolls at the Savoy Theatre, February 27 2016 (matinee)

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London to Rome in a DAY! On a TRAIN!

Last week I took the TRAIN to Rome, all in one day, which was extremely exciting if you’re me! Although getting to St Pancras for the 05:40 Eurostar was a bit dreadful – I especially remember one French-speaking man picking up his suit jacket from the luggage screening belt, and just staring at it helplessly for several seconds before sort of flailing his arms into it. But it was blooming lovely to slump into a double seat and watching the sun rise along the tracks over Lille.

The centre of Paris is so close together that whenever I need to change trains there, I usually just walk between stations – it’s much less faffy than the metro/RER, and means getting to actually see the city for even that short time. Walking to Gare de Lyon went past Place de la Republique, where the monument to the Third Republic has also become a monument of the city’s response to the attacks last year. It’s definitely a monument, not a memorial – the tone is solidarity (lots of flags of different countries) and defiance.

republique monument

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just a little white whale on the go

Stay with me here. Raffi is releasing a new album, which I found out about via this slightly odd Vulture article that fixated on whether he’s slept with any adult fans. (come on, it’s RAFFI. RAFFI WOULD NEVER.) I read this over Christmas and was plunged into a sea of feelings and memories about the song Baby Beluga, his big song. I remember being very young and really feeling what was going on with that whale – and especially seriously communing with the line ‘you’re just a little white whale on the go’. I WAS that whale and I WAS on the go! Specifically I remember waving my bottom around in what I felt was a whale-like way, so happy that a song had managed to capture my ME-ness so perfectly.

When I looked up the lyrics to sing the song to Ewan, I found these lines, which I had forgotten:

Baby beluga, oh baby beluga, sing your little song,
Sing for all your friends, we like to hear you

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The Acropolis and Acropolis Museum in Athens, with Context Travel

Disclosure: I had been intending to book a Context Travel tour when I found out a friend of mine works there, and the next time we saw each other I plied her with alcohol until she agreed to put me on a tour to review. So I didn’t pay for this but I was going to, and I’m booking another (paid) tour for my next holiday; it’s not something I only did because it was comped. I’ve also just realised how many Greek-related posts there have been here lately! It’s just been a Greek few months for some reason!

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The Parthenon gallery, Acropolis Museum, Athens

Like a lot of people, I watched what was happening in Greece this summer and went “gosh, that seems a bit not on?”, then “how can I help?” and the answer came: go on holiday! So in July I took a last-minute solidarity holiday (…holidarity!) to Athens. It was a spectacularly good time to go, both for weather and for politics, and left me with a mostly unearned sense of heroism – saving the world, one souvlaki at a time – and a very immediate desire to go back. So I booked another visit for September, and as above somehow persuaded my friend to put me on one of Context Travel’s tours.

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Header art by Tod Wills.