It has been a good time seeing plays at the Stratford Festival. It has been a good time reconnecting with friends from the Chicago area and also with our wonderful friends and acquaintances in the area of Stratford on Avon in Canada. While here, we have seen Richard III, Every Little Nookie, Little Women, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Hamlet-911 (a world premiere). We missed the regular Hamlet, which apparently was a mistake on our part, but well, you cannot do it all. We still have one more play to see and that is tomorrow: Chicago, of all things.
In some respects, I feel as if I have been run through a ringer and come out a different human being. Richard III was a good rendition and I loved the performance of most all of the cast and of Colm Feore as Richard. Little Women was fun and entertaining and especially fun since it showcased many of those we had seen the night before in Every Little Nookie. All’s Well That Ends Well was great as well. The ones that most affected me are Every Little Nookie and Hamlet-911.
The former was what I would deem a play that is in need of streamlining, editing, and more review. I, however, am not in the company of my peers who may have either walked out of the play or who had major issues with it because, of all the plays we saw, that one caused the most discussion. This play caused us to think about relationships, how we view people who are unlike us and made us, perhaps, uncomfortable in our own skins, the way that many people within our society may have often felt.
From the playbill:
When a suburban boomer couple return home to find their queer millennial daughter, Annabel, hosting a swingers’ party to make cash, they’re forced to question the state of their marriage. Annabel, in turn, must ponder her own future when she adds a new relationship to her chosen family of polyamorous and platonic roommates. In this high-spirited sex romp, it’s not just the earth that moves, as shifting paradigms encourage new possibilities, both personal and political.
For me, Hamlet-911 is a study in what we do as human beings and how simple things we may say or not say can have profound effects on those around us. It showcases issues within our current lives and the dilemmas we face.
From the playbill:
Actor Guinness Menzies has landed his dream role: he’s playing Hamlet at the Stratford Festival. But just before a matinée performance, he suddenly finds himself in the Underworld, a strange realm as frightening as it is hilarious, where time is seriously out of joint. Has he gone mad? Is he dreaming? Has he died…? Meanwhile, teenager Jeremy reaches out to Guinness online as he wrestles with his own version of Hamlet’s famous life-or-death dilemma.
All in all, this was a most profitable, reinvigorating moment in lovely Ontario, Canada as we sought to find a bit of what we had in our annual visits, pretty much every summer since 2006 and missing 2020 and 2021. It is nice to be back.