Let’s get one thing straight…for those of who are regular Changmoh readers you will probably already know this by now/could have guessed…I am no Shakespeare buff.
I can just about manage Romeo & Juliet (it was a GSCE set text so I won’t pretend my literary insights in to the play are to an advanced level) but had a rather severe set back when I went to see Sam Mendes’ production of Richard III when it was touring here last year.
Having never read it – or even the York notes – I still felt pretty confident I’d at least understand most/some of it. Plus it starred the really rather wonderful Kevin Spacey; I felt sure that would help.
I like to use the excuse of being nine months pregnant when I say that I left in the interval, but to be honest it was not only extremely long but totally over my head.
So when we were asked to Othello last week – which is this year’s ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ play – it was with some fear and trepidation that I said yes.
Staged by the Singapore Repertory Theatre (that my lovely friend Gaurav Kripalani is artistic director of) it was in the perfect natural auditorium that is Fort Canning Park:
Part of the reason for the production in the park is as an initiative to make Shakespeare – and literature generally – more approachable to students. For many there (they made up about half of the audience which was lovely to see) it was their first Shakespeare play (and my second, but I didn’t want to let on).
We were handed a bottle of wine and a deliciously luxe Dean and Deluca picnic basket upon arrival and had a seat a stone’s throw from the stage: it was a real treat.
And as for the play – I am very proud to say that I understood it all and I loved it, helped enormously by Othello being rather easy on the eye (he’s the guy in the vest, below)
And here he is at the after show drinks (ahem, yes, I am the weirdo hiding my face – he did ask what was wrong with me).
It also helped that you could loll about on your rug as the play unfolded. I think that must have been what went wrong with me and Richard III: I need to lie down when watching Shakespeare.
We were guests of JP Morgan who are the educational sponsors of Shakespeare in the Park
Richard III image is courtesy of Lifestyleasia