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RSC Penelopiad


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#1 Snout

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 07:39 AM

Has anyone seen - or know much about - the Penelopiad in Stratford? It's at the Swan.

#2 Lynette

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 10:27 PM

I saw it last night; the director, Josette Bushell Mingo came on at the beginning and said it was the first performance in front of any audience and that if it was going wrong she would stop the show and asked if that was ok...a timid mumbling from the punters. But she needn't have worried; it went fine. I rather liked it. 12 women actors and Penny Downie as the dead Penelope telling her story in a knowing and modern way. I can see this being a staple of girls' schools and colleges for years to come. It was cute in places and raw in others and lasted an hour and 45 , no interval. It went down very well with prolonged applause. The cast is Canadian and British so the voices are nicely different at times. I was expecting more from a writer like Atwood, something more highly wrought; the language was ordinary in the main.
The Story, of course, is the waiting of Penelope for Odysseus and how the 12 maidens distract the suitors for her , only to be hanged when Od returns. You don't have to know anything else about the Odyssey or the myths.

#3 canmark

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 11:24 PM

There is an article in today's Toronto Star about this Canadian-British production.

QUOTE
When Odysseus returns home to Ithaca after his 20 years away fighting the Trojan War, he slaughters all of the suitors who have been besieging his wife, Penelope. But he also for no apparent reason murders her 12 maids as well.

Homer doesn't give the slaughter of the maids much space in his narrative, but thousands of years later, a Canadian author took notice of them.

"They always haunted me," says Atwood on the phone from her home in Toronto. "I wanted to find out why they had to die."



#4 Jan Brock

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:58 AM

.

#5 Jan Brock

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 07:00 AM

QUOTE(Lynette @ Jul 28 2007, 11:27 PM) View Post
I saw it last night; the director, Josette Bushell Mingo came on at the beginning and said it was the first performance in front of any audience and that if it was going wrong she would stop the show and asked if that was ok...a timid mumbling from the punters.


We should start a new thread to list all those occasions when we have seen the director come on-stage to deliver a bit of special pleading, I have a few.

#6 Lynette

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 06:24 PM

Not sure about that, Jan. They have decided at the RSC to go on stage at the beginning of each performance of a  play to ask for phones to be turned off. One of the actors comes on in costume, makes it funny etc.  Presumably they draw straws for who gets this job. So as it was a bit nerve wracking for one of the cast in this case, it being so new, she probably said she would do it and took the opportunity to say what she did. It was the very first performance after all.

#7 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 12:27 AM

Is this worth the trek to Stratford or should I just read the book?

#8 Lynette

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 06:50 PM

Worth the trek if you can see RII aswell. Better than book for the performance of Penny Downie who really brings the whole thing to life. Not really worth a trek, Skylight in this lousy weather.

#9 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 12:09 AM

Thanks - with Penny Downie off sick I'm rather relieved I didn't drag up there on Monday!

#10 David

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 09:17 AM

I went to see it the other night, and thought that Jenny Young was very good (as understudy P).




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