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Emperor Jones


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#11 josh

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE(Backdrifter @ Sep 10 2007, 12:17 PM) View Post
I loved it but thought the length and depth were just right. One of the best things I've seen this year so far. In fact I'm having a good theatre year generally.



I'm having a good theatre year too! Emperor Jones on Saturday was my 50th show so far of the year, yaaay.
He used to call me Blue Roses.

#12 Lynette

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 04:10 PM

Well ahead, Josh. I'm on 40 but still many to go.  smile.gif

#13 coated peanuts

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 04:29 PM

heh, I was at the same show as josh again. I seem to end up watching good shows when you're also in the theatre.

ETA: Oh dear god, according to my calendar I have been to the theatre 74 times so far this year. No wonder I am absolutely broke.

#14 josh

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE(coated peanuts @ Sep 10 2007, 05:29 PM) View Post
heh, I was at the same show as josh again. I seem to end up watching good shows when you're also in the theatre.

ETA: Oh dear god, according to my calendar I have been to the theatre 74 times so far this year. No wonder I am absolutely broke.



Oh good! I spread quality wherever I go, clearly laugh.gif


74?! Envyyyyyyyy. That's incredible. Do you keep a list?
He used to call me Blue Roses.

#15 coated peanuts

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 05:33 PM

QUOTE(josh @ Sep 10 2007, 06:12 PM) View Post
74?! Envyyyyyyyy. That's incredible. Do you keep a list?

I put my theatre dates in an online calendar, the only way for me to keep track of things I booked months ago. I was trying to slow down and restrict myself to one show per week, but so far I'm failing miserably. Excellent shows like Emporer Jones keep cropping up and I just have to go.

On a more on-topic issue: Did anyone come out of the theatre feeling that the show was racist? It made me cringe and uncomfortable thinking that people used to (and still do at times) treat others with such inhuman disregard, but I never thought that the show itself had a racist message, especially not when viewed from it's place in time. To me it was more a journey into the very harsh life of Jones, seeing what happens to a capable person when he is denied any 'normal' way of making a decent life for himself.

The only thing that I found a little too apologistic was the very weasely Smithers, as if only unpleasant white people were involved in slavery and race discrimination. To me the play would have been more powerful if Smithers would have appeared as an 'everyman' instead of a particularly unpleasant specimen.

#16 Backdrifter

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:05 AM

That's interesting cp, I thought Smithers while certainly not a pleasant specimen did in fact come across as a fairly normal 'little' man. No, I also didn't find it racist. It was a very interesting device of O'Neill's to take one of the oppressed and make him the oppressor - much more interesting and enabling a harsher light to be shone on the notion of slavery. Similar to Dennis Potter's correct assertion that it was more effective having the Devil as the agent of salvation in Brimstone & Treacle than if it had been an angel.

By the way, if we're swaggering around talking manly (or womanly) numbers, with Private Peaceful last night (brilliant) and The Member of the Wedding tomorrow, I'm on 77, and with others to come that will quite possibly give me my first ever 100 up. Do I win?

And I do keep a list, for reasons that include having a record that I can gaze at and feel all pleased with.
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#17 Alexandra

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 10:30 AM

I felt slightly ambivalent towards the play (great production, though). Absolutely amazing for its time, and remarkable that a white writer of that period put a black character in the main role and portrayed slavery so critically, but I did feel uneasy with the "going native" business. Very glad I saw it, and apart from those things and the central performance, what has stayed with me is the diagram in the programme of the slave ship and how the slaves were squeezed in for the voyage like battery hens - unbelievably horrific.

#18 Backdrifter

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:02 PM

QUOTE(Alexandra @ Sep 11 2007, 11:30 AM) View Post
what has stayed with me is the diagram in the programme of the slave ship and how the slaves were squeezed in for the voyage like battery hens - unbelievably horrific.

Yes - I looked at that for some time - appalling. It's interesting how sometimes, with something so hugely wrong and repellant like slavery, it takes a detail like that to focus you on the horror of it.
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#19 Alexandra

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:18 PM

Yes, exactly, Backdrifter.




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