Thursday, August 15, 2013

Arr n Jay

This Saturday we start reading Romeo and Juliet. I've been with the club ten years, and this must be the third or fourth time since I joined we've read this ever-popular script. There's a new role for me this time. I'm usually one of the parents - or my favourite part, the nurse - but this time I'm going to be Friar Lawrence, whom I don't think I've played since I was at university. And that was decades ago!

Our playleader, Roy, hasn't let on who is reading each part, so it will be a bit of a surprise party. We'll take two meetings over the reading, and I'm hoping there will be time for discussion before we start and after we finish. We are all reasonably knowledgeable about the Bard's oeuvre, of course, but each reading brings new insights and reports on new research. That's one of the beauties of Shakespeare - there is always more to learn about different ways of interpreting the plays. Check out Jenny's post on Different ways of reading Othello for a taste of the amazing variety of thought on just one play!

One of my favourite renditons of R and J is the 1968 film of Franco Zeffirelli, for which he selected one of the best-looking casts imaginable! The young couple, played by Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, were not only lovely to watch but skilled enough to give touchingly realistic renditions of their characters. The other teenagers were equally convincing: John McEnery was a lively and loveable Mercutio who died with a laugh on his lips. I had a personal interest in the nurse, as Pat Heywood, who played the role, was a schoolmate of one of my older sisters.

We have a few young people in the club at long last, so I'll be interested to see who Roy has cast in the leads!