Herself loves Shakespeare. This did not come from her parents who, frankly, can take or leave Shakespeare and think that laughing at his comedies is the sign of a sick mind.
Her best friend’s father has a theatre company and I think she may have got encouragement from there. Anyhow, she has learnt off large chunks of Shakespearean plays for her own entertainment which makes me feel proud, obviously, but also baffled. At her age, I found Lamb’s “Tales from Shakespeare” pretty dull let alone going near the source material.
Anyhow, for 6 nights there is a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” running in the grounds of Dublin Castle and she and I went along on Wednesday night. Tickets were only €6 each and, frankly, I have spent far more on less satisfactory theatrical experiences. My only quibble was that visibility at the back was pretty poor and herself spent most of the show perched on my knees. On the plus side, the evening was beautifully warm and clear and it was lovely to be outdoors.
I was unfamiliar with the play but herself gave me a summary and some of the quotable lines at the start (“I don’t want to ruin it for you” – “Never mind, I’ll be alright”). It was billed as Shakespeare and Glam Rock but the emphasis was pretty heavily on the Shakespeare. Herself is still pretty new to theatre going so was amazed and entranced at how 9 actors managed to play all the characters. She laughed at the jokes and was generally absolutely enthralled (although she told me some parts had been dropped – since that kept it under 2 hours, that was fine by me).
One of the great pleasures of parenthood is enjoying something through your children. I think I would have been bored had I been there alone but with her, a little of the magic and enchantment rubbed off. Nevertheless, philistine that I am, one of the highlights for me (and for the Spanish kids sitting beside me) was the menacing behaviour of a number of seagulls, one of whom sat on Titania’s bed as she slept looking at her balefully. It was clearly aware that it had a reputation to maintain.