The play’s the thing

Regular readers will know that our hero sees himself as some sort of renaissance man and counts an evening wasted if not spent at some event of high culture.  However, it strikes me I may have rather focused on those arts associated with Euterpe and Thalia (though, some might think that enjoying a bit of stand-up is pushing the definition of high art somewhat) to the exception of the other muses.  My reading does encompass Clio and Urania (not yet used as the name of a small family hatchback for some reason) and I do occasionally glance at a poem (not sure whether they are epic or lyric though).

So, I decided it was time to give Melpomene her time in the spotlight and see some serious theatre.  As a result I’ve booked a trip to Shakespeare’s Globe (well, more Wanamaker’s Globe) to see Dr Faustus (the play by Christopher Marlowe, rather than my GP – who has not, to my knowledge, made a pact with the Devil) which is generally considered to be a tragedy (though I guess that depends on your point of view).

Talking of Marlowe, I notice that conspiracy theorists rarely suggest his plays were written by old Will – whereas, the reverse hypothesis is all too frequently entertained.  I wonder if the Bard of Avon would have faked his own death (allegedly) had his agent been a bit more savvy – or perhaps he was just too sensible to hang around Deptford drinking dens, as this would have been well before that area of south-east London was gentrified (as indeed was the 1990s when I last visited and, as indeed, may well still be the case today).

I’ve been fascinated in the story of Dr Faustus since a lad – not quite sure why, as I’m not really looking for 24 years of power on earth, but I think it is probably the wonderful feel of the name Mephistophiles on the tongue (though it wouldn’t really work with my surname – too many F sounds – so I’ll stick with the Stuart for now).  This production will feature renaissance costume (not I hope for the audience, as I’m far from convinced I have the legs for tights) and apparently will also provide poetry and comedy – thus covering three muses in a single sitting (perhaps “muse-bagging” could become a new cultural phenomenon).  Talking of sitting, whilst being a groundling might well be the more authentic experience, I’ve gone for a seat – and having visited the Globe before – invested in the hire of a cushion (as discussed before, I like to sit down for culture – and many other things!).  The hiring of cushions in hard-seated venues is something I’d like to see become much more common – that and high quality ice creams in the interval – and ought to be a good money-spinner in these days of declining grants. Perhaps a career in arts management beckons – though if so, it is being awfully discrete about it.

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