opera grotesque

Last night, a production of Hamlet, as told by the Tiger Lillies, at the Place des Arts here in Montreal. I’ve read reviews of other productions and I’m still trying to figure out what I think. In many ways, an astonishing and original piece of theatre. It was a very physical and athletic play,filled with flight and swimming (and drowning) in air, feats of tremendous and beautiful body work. The voice of Martyn Jacques, the Tiger Lillies front-man, filled the theatre, as he sang to both the actors and the audience. What troubled me: the way the syntax of the songs made them muddy sometimes, in service to the expected rhymes rather than dramatic effect. And let’s face it — language doesn’t get more perfect than Shakespeare’s. So commentary on the play needs to be pretty amazing to work. And I didn’t think this production always worked. But when it did — the harrowing Desolation Song as Ophelia dies — it was entirely memorable. I’m glad we went. And we talked about it the entire walk back to the Gingerbread Manor B&B where we are staying for a couple of nights (recommended by Forrest and Manon) and where I can smell breakfast as I write.


Yesterday we arrived to snow but not romantic fluffy snow. It was wet and slushy and we got very cold. Luckily we found Juliette & Chocolat where we drank little jugs of extraordinary hot chocolate and shared a fabulous brownie. This morning there’s a blue sky and high pink cloud. So onward! And upward!

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