Left myself short of time again, yet I'm still enjoying daily postings. There seems quite a bit of it going on this year, even if not everyone's all signed up officially for it, something of a resurgence of blogging motivation, which is good to see, even when it means the sidebar feed is changing its configuration faster than I can keep up with it.
A dull grey day today, and this afternoon I trotted along to the unfortunately acronymed CAC ( think it stands for Centre d'acceuil culturel, not quite sure, it is to be found above what used to be the Spar supermarket and is now a state of the art Carrefour minimarket) in Moncontour to meet J and E, who had agreed to come along to see Le TrUC, an am-dram group from Rennes in a French language version of A Midsummer Night's Dream ( Un Songe d'une Nuit d'Été). Ok, you can smile, how desperate does one have to be to get out more? I had until now sworn off any small scale French language theatricals once and for all since being taken, some ten years ago now, to see a production of something in a village theatre resembling a tin can with old cinema seats ( actually it wasn't badly equipped really) with a convoluted plot involving a woman from the provinces who inherits a town property which unbeknownst to her is really a brothel but then the girls turn out to be spies but then the woman herself turns out to be the top spy, or something like that. It's probably some classic of French popular comedy which I shall now be berated for my cultural ignorance for not knowing about but I only remember it as one of the most interminable and excruciating evenings I have ever spent. I didn't have my own transport and was really almost in tears of desperation by the time we finally got away. After that it was music, dance or, at a pinch if Iso and Pascal are in them, mime performances only, with a time limit, and strict insistence on one's own transport and the possibility of a quick getaway.
But I was so surprised to see a big banner for MSND and thought, why not, if they can take the trouble to come out here and put it on I can at least give it a go, and since the ins and outs of the play and quite a few of its speeches are probably about as familiar as anything could be, and since I'd a reasonable idea of its likely duration, it couldn't be too unendurably incomprehensible. Surprisingly I even found two other people prepared to turn out with me. It was on last night and this afternoon, with about 30 odd people in the audience and the same the night before, which might have only been about three times the number of people involved in the production but also probaly constituted about half of the compos mentis, ambulant population of Moncontour, so not bad.
And in truth it really wasn't bad. It was too long; bits of it dragged rather and were spun out unnecessarily, especially the bits with the lovers, and it occurs to me that they're probably often rather tiresome. T he rude mechanicals ended up making us laugh quite a lot in Pyramus and Thisbe, but their rehearsals were weirdly halting and uncertain, and Bottom translated was too fearful and pitiable for my taste, he ought to have a really good time being petted and lusted after by Titania and run around after by Pease Blossom et al. Titania was rather good, tall and slinky in thigh boots and a mini-skirt. All the fairies were good, camp and wacky and enjoying themselves in all kids of coloured tulle and roller skates and other bits and pieces. Though Oberon was somewhat declamatory, the young woman who was Puck was the epitome of Puckishness and very watchable, and generally they could have cut a lot more of the tedious lovers and kept in more fairy stuff.
So much for the action, but what about Shakespeare in French? I don't know, it seems a truism to the point of the bleedin' obvious to say it should be in the original, but then again, if you aren't English speaking what do you do? I recognised much of it but it seemed unrecognisable, I had hoped it would be a different music but it seemed sadly unmusical, but that might be a lack in me. I know there's a worthy tradition of French translation of Shakespeare but don't know enough about it to be discerning.
Glad I went though.
A few more pictures from the same morning as the liquid amber ones.