Two Shakespeare Comedies

When I lived near London a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe was an annual event. However since moving north I have missed out. This year I went to see Measure for Measure; a bawdy romp with a serious side.  Sex and justice, love, lust and a full measure of hypocrisy played out with a fine combination of noisy humour and heartfelt seriousness. Variety called it “Shakespeare without a safety net” a good description.

Undoubtedly Brendan O’Hea as Lucio deserves the biggest cheer for the comedy. He played Lucio as a foppish gossip, a kind of Julian Clary without the dog, hilarious. On the more serious side Mariah Gale’s Isabella at times took your breath away. This along with Dominic Rowan‘s Duke gave the play its moral edge.

It might be a good idea for some of our more censorious politicians to take note.

My second Shakespeare this week was very different. The Illyria troupe’s The Taming of the Shrew outdoors at Hill House in Helensburgh.  As an aside The Hill House is one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest creations and well worth a visit with or without Shakespeare.

The Hill House Helensburgh

The Hill House Helensburgh

An anxious few hours before the play as the rain teamed down before it cleared just in time for the performance.  Five furious performers playing all the parts provided what seemed to me an authentic look at what it would really have been like. As Dr Reaveley Gair  a scholar of Elizabethan times said, “Illyria’s five actors are the direct heirs of Shakespeare’s wandering players.”

Illyria Players Taming of the Shrew

Illyria Players Taming of the Shrew

It was great frantic fun, they are still touring throughout the summer and well worth a visit.

TotS Helensburgh 1

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My work background is in operational meteorology and in my career I have been involved in forecasting for everything from bananas to jumbo jets.I joined the Met Office 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport. After training as a forecaster, I worked as an Operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, I moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and STV broadcaster till 1988. He then took up a post as Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, then Senior Forecaster ITV where I qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became Head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of front-line management for Southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office Chief Advisor for Scotland & Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh. I retired in September 2014. My one claim to fame is once performed a comedy sketch on TV with Manuel (Andrew Sachs) from Fawlty Towers in support of Comic Relief.

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Posted in Fun, Illyria, Poetry, Reviews, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Globe

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