December 16, 2005

Told You

Productions of Shaw’s plays are rarely staged in London these days, so if one comes along, it is not to be missed. A newspaper I had read on the tube informed me as much.

The Garrick Theatre books discount tickets (students, senior citizens, unemployed) in advance for the Thursday matinee show of You Never Can Tell, and one of these was duly procured.

When I reached yesterday, I was the only member of the audience:
  • With brown skin
  • Under 50 years of age
  • Without an expensive plastic cup of mulled wine
  • Without a Regent Street shopping bag
  • Without a 200-pounds coat

For the first time in London, I felt completely out of place (not counting the feeling I get in the classroom). The production was fantastic, and since most of Shaw’s plays are similar in that they have the same upper class family with estranged parents and undecided lovers, my craving for seeing Shaw performed was reasonably well satisfied. It’s fun to have to wait for three minutes when the curtain goes down between acts, and to imagine the poor stage hands hurriedly trying to dismantle one set carefully detailed by Shaw, and put up another. I’m really grateful they went the whole way to make my experience authentic.

As I had suspected, Shaw improves on being seen performed rather than read. When one can enjoy without having to “Write a critical note on the Salvation Army-Academia-Capitalism alliance in Major Barbara,” it is a wonderful experience! Shaw is for lesser mortals according to my professors back home, but guess what, I AM a lesser mortal.

Aside: There were no signs and no announcements in the theatre about switching off mobile phones. One minute before the performance began, they played the Nokia tune full volume over the speakers. The rest is silence. :-)


Anonymous said...

Very well written Inky. After quite sometime, saw the old spark in your writings. Vintage Inky!
Maybe, its Shaw Effect! :-)

Intern said...

Actually, I've been reading your posts for quite sometime:
I love your writing ...

MumbaiGirl said...

wish i'd known. would have been the other borwn under 40 with a not £200 coat.

colours said...

Wonderful !!! Especially the Nokia tune...