Sunday, 16 October 2016

Vesti la giubba

And so to the theatre. I have been to a production of Anthony Shaffer's two hander 'Sleuth'. I have never seen either of the films adapted from the play and so came to it cold; which is pretty much how I left it as well. It was well acted, had a very elaborate and kinetic stage set, but was - it seemed to me - clever for the sake of it. Given that one of its main themes was the playing of games as an alternative to really living life I should perhaps have been somewhat more engaged by it, especially as a secondary element was the ridicule of golden age detective fiction; a genre for which observers of the 'currently reading' section of the blog will know that I have a taste. But, sadly, I came away thinking "So what?"; my second disappointing theatrical experience in a couple of days.

It did refer to the zeitgeist in one unexpected way for a play written in 1970: the audience can have been left in no doubt that the current craze for dressing up as clowns can only end badly for those involved. The scene in which Tindle puts on the costume prompts both he and Wyke to sing Canio's aria from Pagliacci, which - and you know I love me some verismo - referenced neatly back to last week's performance of Il tabarro. It is perhaps no coincidence that in the play as well as in both operas the man sleeping with the married woman doesn't escape unpunished.

Changing the subject away from adultery, it is perhaps worth noting that Shaffer also wrote the screenplay to 'The Wicker Man', the favourite film of the big, bouncy woman; a film furthermore that starred Christopher Lee - featured in this very blog just the other day despite not being a wargamer - and Edward Woodward - who played the most famous wargaming assassin in British television history.

I hope you all noted the clown.

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