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Culture Vulture Schmulture – H

In a feature shamelessly “inspired” by The Times‘s Culture Vulture, British Expat brings you the above titled (subtitled “Things you should own, if they’re the sort of thing you might like…”)

Sorry for the non-existent nature of my contributions recently. I’ve been, in this order, preparing to be, being, and recovering from being in America. It was boss, but that’s another story.

This week we’re on to “H”. Harry Potter and the Glasgow Kiss would be right up there if it existed (blooming Hogwarts hogwash), but it doesn’t so there’s only one real contender for my recommendation of something that you might quite like to consider maybe owning a copy of. Hamlet.

The only thing I’ve ever actually enjoyed being forced to read during all my wonderful years of education. I think I’ve read it about 12 times since leaving college last year. Reading doesn’t quite do it justice however, though it’s not a bad place to start. Alternatively, watch Olivier/Gibson or a live production. You could wait until Baz Luhrmann sets to, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. You might die.

I’m not going to give the whole story away because either you know it, or you’ll really want to consider getting hold of a copy, but basically Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (See, I’ve researched this time – well, I’ve checked the whole name in my Complete Works of Shakespeare. Actually, it’s my mum’s copy, so I can’t even claim to have researched properly. Again.) is vegetarian until mealtime. He spends much of the play procrastinating over acts of such weight that I would recommend avoiding the thing altogether if you’re feeling down. Hence, “To be, or not to be.”

Having seen all the films, read the “screenplay” somewhere around 431 times and seen live productions, I can safely say that if at all possible you should take the chance to see any production of the play by the Ninagawa Company. I don’t think their tour takes them as far as Port Moresby or Nuku’alofa this year, but next year, you never know…

I paid good money to go to the Barbican, in the centre of London’s grey cack, to see this Japanese company perform. To say I was worried about wasting my money would be more than a minor understatement. So I won’t say it. It was, frankly, superb. They had to get around the language barrier between the players and most of the audience, and therefore had to play much more on the emotions and, to be frank once more, act better than the RSC (whose production was pretty rubbish when I saw it).

Anyways, this Shakespeare fellow was definitely onto something (I promised myself before I sat down to write this that I wouldn’t say anything quite as naff as that, but ho hum.) and that something is something you should take a goosy at.

Next “Week” – “I” and Jimmy’s Magic Moment. Don’t be disappointed if it’s late though (!!), I’ll be in the process of shifting lock, stock (boom boom) down to Southampton to drink myself silly for four years.

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