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Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Lost in Shakespeare 
25th-Aug-2011 04:10 pm
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Two completely unrelated dreams from last night: First up I was back in New York, at the end of my week there and I'd just found out I needed to stay another week for some reason. I asked at the hotel and was able to book to stay on but they said although I could even have the same room I'd have to check out first, leave the building, come back in and check in again. So I went back upstairs to the room and packed. The room itself was exactly like the real hotel room -

but the lobby was slightly off, as was the front of the building: In reality if you leave the New Yorker and turn right you end up on 34th which is one of the busier streets, here I ended up in an alleyway instead. I walked round this corner and noticed one foot was in pain when I walked, as I was waiting to go back in again and re-check in a man came up to me and pointed out I was wearing odd shoes. I looked down and realised not only were they odd, they were the white trainers I wear to the gym, one of them the old Adidas pair I used to have and the other the Nikes I wear now; and they were both left shoes, which explains why the right foot was in so much pain. I scurried back into the alley, looked in my rucksack for the black trainers I would normally wear with jeans, and changed into them.


The second one's a more theatrical dream, I was in a theatre much like the RSC's Courtyard/Roundhouse/RST/Armory "diving board" stages for a production of what, at first, I was sure was Romeo and Juliet (I remember thinking it was way too soon after Rupert Goold's production, as well as wondering why I'd bothered to go to another R&J let alone in the same venue) but which seemed to turn into A Midsummer Night's Dream somewhere along the way. There was onstage audience seating, in a long line right up the middle of the stage, and I was the furthest upstage, the action was to take place all around us. Except often we were required to get up and rush off somewhere else, with some action happening in the lobby, the stairs etc. As I took my programme with me I saw a director's note which said she had created the production to work as if it was a radio play with a lot of atmospheric noises, and she encouraged the audience to watch it with their eyes closed - I wondered how she expected anyone to do that when we had to keep getting up and running around. On returning to my onstage seat I found someone had nicked it and refused to get up; I got into an argument about it, I remember saying that she wouldn't have done that if it had been the usual numbered seating, and she only thought she could get away with it because I was there on my own. But this became less important as, instead of being onstage in the middle of the play, it seemed we were now actually in the middle of the action for real, like a Shakespeare version of Lost in Austen but even more surreal. The rude mechanicals' costumes for the play-within-a-play seemed to largely consist of huge, black suits of armour, and, possibly suggested by the Fables universe, where the better-known characters are closer to immortality than the obscure fairy-tales, the more famous characters were physically larger. So Oberon, Titania, Puck and especially Bottom were lumbering giants, while the lesser-known fairies were normal-sized. Despite being physically intimidating the characters turned out to be friendly and someone else in the audience said that Shakespeare-world might turn out not to be such a bad place to end up in. I wasn't so sure, and pointed out that Shakespeare's full of violence, executions and people getting eaten by bears - and that's just the comedies.
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