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What a pity. We were somewhat more fortunate, being taken ... Night. I can see and hear her to this day.

We were taken to a very peculiar production of the Tempest at the Oxford Playhouse, in which Alistair Sim, of all people, played Prospero.

We were taken to see Sophocles' Antigone at a reproduction amphitheatre somewhere in southern England. It was all Greek to me. For the Latin course we would rightly have gone to see a reconstruction of Caesar's Gallic Wars, but I don't remember one, and I'm sure I would have.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
What a pity. We were somewhat more fortunate, being taken ... Night. I can see and hear her to this day.

But you missed the entirely unforgettable experience of watching Twelfth Night at Chesterfield Playhouse. The actress playing Olivia had obviously ... people to plays as they were supposed to be seen - as an entertainment, rather than as an intellectual exercise.

Being reasonably close to Birmingham, we had plenty of opportunity to visit theatres - especially the Rep which had special deals for school parties. We saw everything - so many productions that I can't remember them all. Equus with its nudity; a performance of Macbeth with rough Scottish clothing but modern footwear which showed when they knelt, The Hostage "We're here because we're queer", and many, many more. And it wasn't a problem getting to Stratford, so we worked our way through the history plays and the Roman plays as well as Twelfth Night. Then there were the more alternative plays at The Other Place in Stratford. David Rudkin, the reasonably famous playwright, taught at my school but his plays were far too nasty for pupils below the sixth form.
The most astonishing evening, however, was The Stop Over, which took place in some sort of abandoned warehouse in Birmingham. It was an "experience", not a play. The audience moved from room to room to be confronted by a different spectacle in each, including a nearly naked woman (she had a strip of paper around her breasts) but culminating in the back yard with a "21 Herring Salute": 21 hapless (although dead) herrings were strung from a washing line, each stuffed with a banger. They were set off electrically, in order; we were all bespattered with raw herring. I got a badge on which was printed "I stopped over".

David
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The most astonishing evening, however, was The Stop Over, which took place in some sort of abandoned warehouse in Birmingham. ... in order; we were all bespattered with raw herring. I got a badge on which was printed "I stopped over".

This sounds rather like the recent piece of "art" that involved visitors walking round a house and observing its "inhabitants" going about their daily lives.
I am usually very sceptical about these things but I inadvertently wandered into the former C&A premises in Oxford Street when that chap was cutting up all his possessions and found it quite fascinating.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
Rootle by all means if you care to. I find ... had to get to grips with it in any detail.

I am a little younger than my esteemed female compatriots. My grammar school O-level English Literature and Language courses (1972) did not include any Chaucer, nor any early English language. Shakespeare was the earliest we studied.

I think I'm fractionally younger again. We didn't encounter Chaucer until 'A' level English (1977) when I got to wade through the Wife Of Bath's prologue (basically, she gets about a bit) and tale (can't remember a thing about it), both in the original. We also did Antony and Cleopatra, Persuasion, for some strange reason Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (but not Hamlet, though Stoppard's play makes no sense if you don't read that too) and Vanity fair, which has stuck with me down the years in a funny sort of way...
DC
'Lat take a cat and fostre hym wel with milk
And tendre flessch and make his couche of silk,
And lat hym seen a mouse go by the wal,
Anon he weyvith milk and flessch and al,
And every deyntee that is in that hous,
Suich appetit he hath to ete a mous.'
(True. Ours does exactly that. And prefers to drink out of the toilet.)
We were taken to a very peculiar production of the Tempest at the Oxford Playhouse, in which Alistair Sim, of all people, played Prospero.

We were taken to see Sophocles' Antigone at a reproduction amphitheatre somewhere in southern England. It was all Greek to ... gone to see a reconstruction of Caesar's Gallic Wars, but I don't remember one, and I'm sure I would have.

There were no Alistair Sims or Judi Denches for us, chiz. No, we were taken to Stoke-on-Trent Rep to see a bunch of nobodies in Richard III*. Or perhaps it was *Julius Caesar. Or perhaps it was both at once. (Act III, Sc. VII: "A lot of people in togas and wimples stab the Duke of Clarencius an inordinate number of times and shove his corpse in a wine vat. Exeunt.") Ah, memories.

Ross Howard
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I forgot to mention the Shakespeare - we did Julius ... And Octavius was knock-kneed and spoke in a falsetto. Weird.

It seems that there is hardly anybody here who didn't* do "Julius Caesar". We got taken to see an appalling ... to the bottom again. Even at fifteen, we all guessed that this was not *exactly what Shakespeare had in mind.

Hang on, I forgot, we also got to do the crashingly boring Coriolanus. We went to a modern dress production at the Young Vic, done in sort of WW1 Ruritanian garb. But the brilliant bit was, at the end where Aufidius kills Coriolanus, we were wondering how he was going to get from far stage left to far right to stab him; then he whips out a revolver and shoots the bugger! Remember the bit with the diversh guy in Raiders of the Lost Arc? Much the same effect.

We also got to see a decent production of Antony and Cleopatra with that baldy bloke who was later Captain Pickard as Enobarbus.
DC
The most astonishing evening, however, was The Stop Over, which ... got a badge on which was printed "I stopped over".

This sounds rather like the recent piece of "art" that involved visitors walking round a house and observing its "inhabitants" ... former C&A premises in Oxford Street when that chap was cutting up all his possessions and found it quite fascinating.

I had the experience at Tate Modern of looking at a corner of a room and wondering - seriously wondering, and I don't know the answer to this day - whether the collection of tools and materials I was looking at was an exhibit or whether it was work in progress by the maintenance department. Whichever it was, it occupied my attention for considerably longer than some of the corners which clearly were exhibits.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
This sounds rather like the recent piece of "art" that ... cutting up all his possessions and found it quite fascinating.

I had the experience at Tate Modern of looking at a corner of a room and wondering - seriously wondering, ... department. Whichever it was, it occupied my attention for considerably longer than some of the corners which clearly were exhibits.

I love the Tate Modern - it's where I found a piece which closely resembled the contents of our garage. A very familiar assortment of stuff, including dilapidated garden furniture, old magazines and oddly shaped pieces of foam rubber and cardboard had been assembled as a perfect cube. It was quite enthralling. A very knowledgeable attendant told me how the components had been shipped over from the artist's home in Germany with detailed assembly instructions. I wish I could remember the artist's name.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Frida Kahlo exhibition and I shall treat myself to a trip on the Tate boat.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
This sounds rather like the recent piece of "art" that ... cutting up all his possessions and found it quite fascinating.

I had the experience at Tate Modern of looking at a corner of a room and wondering - seriously wondering, ... department. Whichever it was, it occupied my attention for considerably longer than some of the corners which clearly were exhibits.

Ah. I saw that. Unfortunately (for me) I was in the company of my son and when I asked innocently (well, almost innocently) whether we had stumbled across a piece of renovation I was torn off a strip for philistinism.
Luckily (for me) he wasn't with us when we visited the exhibit at the Oxford MOMA which consisted of a room half-filled with sand. Or, I suppose, half-empty of sand depending on which "*imism" you favour.
John Dean
Oxford
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