Saturday, 24 March 2018

Violence On Stage


I've not had time to blog today
I've not had time to bathe Mary smelly fanny ( mother in law coming to stay in days and " Operation Dog Snot Removal" has not been initiated as yet!)
I've not had time to fix Mrs H's tablet as promised.
I've just not had time.

I treated the Prof to tickets to see the old chestnut that is Noel Coward's Private Lives at Theatre Clwyd tonight. It was fine, sparkling Coward in fact , but the climactic slap fest between Amanda ( a great Helen Keeley by the way) and husband Elyot seemed just a tiny bit uncomfortable for a modern audience to laugh at without reservation.

I think we are still programmed to react to physical violence when we see it in the flesh so to speak. Satatized violence ( on screen and tv) can feel cartoonish and unreal to most of us ( except the gentle natured blogger Raymondo perhaps) but a stage sock in the mouth can feel very real , even though it's played for laughs on a theatre stage.

It's just a thought at the end of a busy day.
Thank goodness we didn't go to see who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?


25 comments:

  1. I have a female pekingese and if you cut around their "lady bits" carefully the urine does not hang around on the long fur and smell. Keeps the "girls" fresh for a little longer :)

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  2. Boots sell several feminine hygiene products that may assist with Mary's "problem". These include Femfresh Active Fresh Deo Spray. However, I very much doubt that this would work on Winnie.

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    1. I still have the fanny flannel

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  3. I admit. I'm one of those people who would cringe at the sight of violence on a stage. And you're right. It's a gut reaction to something violent. I just have to remind myself that it's all part of the show. And sometimes, it's an integral part.

    In Easter plays, Jesus gets crucified. In a lot of Shakespeare's works, people get stabbed and killed. It's just a part of the story. I just have to remember that, and enjoy the show.

    It sounds like y'all had a good time. That makes the show worth it and entertaining. Cheers!

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    1. I saw the Easter play in york years ago with Christopher Timothy...the pain of his torture was visceral

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  4. I have had two smelly hairy botties to wash today -how lovely x

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  5. I don't think Noel Coward's plays have aged well at all. "Private Lives" is a prime example.

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    1. Indeed......which is a shame , it had some good one liners

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    2. Yes, Coward's been going through a bit of a 'trough' lately though he will emerge - maybe in the same way that Rattigan, until recently so 'dated', is now being re-appraised and admired.

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  6. My wimpy self has difficulty with violence on the tv too. And you are probably right about the impact on stage.

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  7. I can't recall seeing violence in live theatre, the few times we've gone. And TV violence doesn't usually bother me. But a movie with violence is something I avoid at all costs. Then again, if I see an ad on TV for organizations set up to deal with animal cruelty, it puts my stomach in a knot. Strange, strange. I probably need a shrink.

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    1. You're not alone by any means, J. Animal suffering, discomfort or distress pushes such strong buttons in my psyche that anything on TV involving them and I'm taking up the remote to switch channels just in case something upsetting happens to them. I've always had a sensitivity in this direction all my life but now in my ancient years it's getting ever more acute.

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    2. I am the same way with any hint of animal cruelty. I can not change the channel fast enough.

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  8. Some directors may suggest violence rather than show it. Hitchcock for example.

    As you well know there nothing more violent on stage than opera. But of course the violence has to be essential to the storyline. Hitler in his young days was a regular opera goer here in Vienna. He preferred a bad German opera to a good Italian one. Maybe it played a role in his future career choice.

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  9. Thanks for the ref, JayGee.
    I can't rationalise what makes some perceived violence utterly unbearable to witness whilst at other times the context can make it 'acceptable' - or even funny! Human nature is never so consistent that it conforms to pre-set rules. If it were, life would be all that much simpler.

    This particular production is coming to Worthing and I did consider, but knowing the play so well I decided to skip the chance.
    I do love the play (as well as practically all the other Cowards) but, as you suggest, it has become a bit too well-known that it's hard to see it played without the actors having an understandable, knowing glint in the eye - rather like 'Earnest', I suppose.

    "(Certain) women should be struck regularly like gongs." - A horrifying-sounding line now, but it was only up to a couple of decades ago when it would have been laughed off by just about everyone, including self.

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    1. Dogs, women, and walnut trees; the more you beat them, the more they please. Another good example Raybeard.

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  10. I was very uncomfortable watching the boxing on sport relief, there was Helen,a Blue Peter presenter hitting the Hell out of her opponent. I just don't get Boxing

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    1. Yes, I felt the same, BadPenny.

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  11. In the Greek Tragedies in Ancient Greece the violence was never shown on stage, it may have been heard off stage, but it was the order of the day that it was never shown. It still is.

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  12. It's good to see you blogging again John :D
    I'm really not one for violence other than Zombie bashing. I guess that's far enough removed from reality to not make me feel uncomfortable!

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  13. I recently re-read "Private Lives" and even the reading made me uncomfortable with the slaps. I guess times have changed. Also watched the John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara film "The Quiet Man" and was shocked by how acceptable (and considered comic) domestic abuse was.

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  14. I studied Virgina Woolf play for my degree course - that Edward Albee certainly caught my attention!

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  15. Such a hard play to pace. I too find physical violence on stage really squirmy!

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