Mittwoch, 29. Oktober 2008

Stratford Day 3 Or: "The which I hope is not enrolled there"

Day Three saw us watching Love's Labour's Lost, so there might be some slight spoilers ahead. Though I probably mixed up details of the play. Bear with me, it's been a week already since I saw it, and my notes are a bit difficult to read. Also there will be a bit of uncontrolled fangirlying that can only be rendered in German because in English the joke would be lost. :ugly:

Hoppi and I get up at seven today; as we want to go to Oxford we had asked Mr Kim yesterday for breakfast at eight, so we could catch the train out of Stratford without problems. Today first Hoppi's cellphone wakes us with birds singing and then my cellphone goes off making Tardis sounds. We shower and then go to room number five to knock on the door again. We head down for breakfast, but the door is closed. After half an hour, at half past eight, Mrs Kim lets us in; apparently the news didn't reach her. She is a bit surprised to see us waiting and we tell her that we need to catch a train at 9:41. she promises to serve breakfast at once, which she does and even offers to give us a lift to the station. We are speechless for a second but then assure her that we can walk there and be perfectly on time. If we haven't fallen in love with her by now, we certainly do now.

After breakfast we grab our stuff and march off across Stratford to the station. Kristy has seen Oxford already and decides to stay at Stratford, so we part. After a brisk walk Hoppi, El and I reach the station ten minutes before the train leaves, buy tickets (with group discount) at the counter and flop down on some seats, being a little out of breath. Our train arrives and after checking thrice we head in and sit down. On the way to Leamington we admire the wonderful landscape and squee at the sheep we pass by. We get off at Leamington Spa and wait for train service to Oxford, which is late. As is almost every train announced. I briefly wonder if that is a normal day of British train service. We sit inside the heated waiting area when I notice the rain that is pouring down. I tell the others, who tell me that it has already been raining for a while. Hey, I tend to see the obvious a little later than most people.

Our train finally comes, we step on and only find some single seats. Hoppi and I sit down, El is left standing in the aisle. The conducter arrives and checks our tickets. He stamps El's, when I show him mine he looks a bit longer and says that these tickets are not valid on Cross Country Services because of their group discount. Uhhh, what? He says we either have to upgrade or get off the next station. We think getting off is the better idea. Who would want a free upgrade? :delete: So we get off at Banbury, one stop away from Oxford. And find out that there actually is no train service today to Oxford that is not Cross Country. The leaflet says something about occasional service. Now that doesn't sound too reassuring. We decide to get on the next train no matter what train it is and either bat our eye-lashes at the conductor or submit to the upgrade then. So the next train is Cross Country Service again, and we keep standing at the door this time, as there is no free seat anyway. The conducter arrives - and is a woman. So no batting of eye-lashes. She sees the ticket El holds still in her hand. A ticket that has already been checked. Before Hoppi and I can get out our tickets she mumbles something like okay and is passed on into the next waggon. Well - yay! We escaped the upgrade! Some ten minutes later we arrive at Oxford and get off the train. At least it is not raining that heavily. We go into the town and head towards Christ Church. Harry Potter has been filmed there, so we go to worship another fandom. On the way however we pick up some nice postcards, among them the nice one that will be sent to The Hole.

Christ Church is very nice and part of it can be visited by tourists. We pass by a huge park and then enter. But bad luck: as this is a normal university the Hall is closed today. Damn. We take pictures in the corridors that have stood in for Hogwarts nonetheless and then go into the cathedral. I love churches, so I grab a leaflet and have a good look at everything. (Looking at the leaflet once more I have just realized that we haven't really taken the whole tour. We didn't go down Tom Quadrangle and passed the library, did we?) Anyways, while we have been inside, it has started pouring with rain. We get out our umbrellas and fold up our jeans as we make our way back into town. We buy something to eat and drink at a store and then decide to worship the second fandom of the day: Tolkien's grave is somewhere at Oxford. So we walk through the pouring rain trying to find the tourist information to ask the way, but we somehow miss it. We find a map though, and a cemetery not too far away on it. After memorizing the way we walk there. We reach the church and feel a bit like trespassing because we actually have to push open a door to enter the cemetery. There is a sign listing the famous persons buried here and Professor Tolkien is not among them. Damn. We conclude we are in the wrong place. Which is true, we were in Holywell Cemetery and Professor Tolkien is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery. It would have been too far to walk on that day anyway.

We decide to head back to the station to catch an earlier train home as we are now soaked. Hoppi's Chucks are wet, and my supposedly waterproof boots proove to be not waterproof at all. Even El's shoes are giving in. The water in my jeans has crept up over my knees by the time we reach the station. But hey, there is a train leaving which we only happen to catch because it is delayed (Ahahahaha.). We get on and stand in the aisle waiting with our slightly not valid tickets for the conductor to upgrade us. He arrives, asks whether we got wet (No, not at all.), checks our tickets and hands them back to us without another word. Okay. We escape upgrading a second time, this time probably because of the pitiful state we are in. At Leamington we get of the train because we remember there was a heated waiting area there. Unfortunately the heated waiting area turns out to have been on the other side of the tracks and we are just to tired, wet and lazy to walk over. Instead we sit down for half an hour, after finding out that we have to wait a whole hour for the next train. After half an hour we are not only wet but also cold because of not moving and decide to grab a coffee. We think we have to go to the other side of the tracks now, but - lo and behold! there is a cafe with tables to sit at and a television in the corner right next to the waiting area. Ahahahaha. We spend the rest of time waiting at least with a hot drink in our hands. The train arrives (only slightly delayed) and at last we find seats again. We overhear a girl some seats behind us who is talking on the phone telling that she is also going to see Love's Labour's Lost tonight. The mention of the play lightens up our moods at least a little, but there are still a couple of things to be done.

First we are a bit late because of the delay of the train. So when we get off, we again fall into a brisk walk, where El proves to be the fastest walker of us. (I suspect because she needed to use a toilet. :ugly:) El and I decide to go to New Look once more. El wants legwarmers, I need new shoes now that mine have turned into small fishponds. No way I am gonna sit through the play with wet and cold feet. So Hoppi goes ahead to the B&B, and El is a bit faster buying her legwarmers than me, and runs ahead as well. Still I reckon this is the fastest purchase of shoes ever done by me. I circle the boots three times, lock eyes with my prey, hunt down a pair my size, stuff my wet feet into it, walk three steps, and carry my prize to the counter to pay (student discount! Again!). Then I fall back into the brisk jog towards the B&B.

Having arrived I get out of my completely soaked clothes and put on something dry. My feet start warming up, too! Yay! We all get dressed and then walk off to the theatre. Another brisk walk as we start a little later than we intended. Having arrived, we leave our coats and umbrellas at the cloak room and then go and buy a programme. I am delighted; cloak room is for free and the programme is a wonderful book with lots of information for three pounds fifty. I am used to much worse products and service for much more money. The shop they have is so crowded we don't fit in, so we decide to have a look later. Some minutes later the auditorium is opened, so we head in. Our seats are in the stalls, last row three seats away from one of the ways that lead onto the stage. But as the seats are rising, we have a brilliant view of everything happening, and right behind us the actors pass during the play to get on stage. (David Tennant passed by right behind us. Sorry, the inner fangirl just had to type this. :ugly:) So we all sit there and flip through our programmes. I kinda have to look at what the staff are doing. Professional interest you might say. (They write down which seats are not occupied to match them with possible latecomers. I also want a notepad!)

On stage is this lovely big tree, and ten minutes before the play starts Dumaine and Longaville enter the scene and make themselves at home. We briefly wonder that maybe we are so unlucky that David Tennant doesn't play tonight, when he enters the stage right at the same moment. He walks around a bit and then lies down, pulls a hat over his head, and sleeps. We watch and try not to squee too loudly. El breaks the silence saying "Er ist ganz schön groß." Hoppi and I stare for three seconds, then El adds "Also ich meine lang." We all start laughing and agree there is no way to phrase without the innuendo. Oh well.

The play starts with the King dropping a chest onto stage, waking Berowne from his slumber. The edict is to be signed, but Berowne is not very happy with it. His more and more panicked "the which I hope is not enrolled there" makes us laugh more the more often he repeats it. And the accent. Awww. Scottish accent. There is just nothing like it. The penalties against trespassing women are read out, and Berowne's shock is just hilarious. And after three minutes I realize that it is so different to see a play performed than to read it. The problems the audience may have with the words are glossed over brilliantly by the actors, and they pull just so many jokes. I already wrote about Berowne throwing his hat towards this protruding branch of the tree and missing - we just laughed. And I still wonder whether the "every time" is in the play or not, because we all seem to recall that he said it when he missed, too. Costard enters the scene in all his bouncing madness. The next scene then is a bit hard to understand with Don Armado and Moth. Then the princess and her ladies enter. Did I already mention that they all wear Elizabethan costumes? So we four girls admire the dresses. There is the first exchange between Berowne and Rosaline. Costard redefines the word 'remuneration', a Shakespeare rap follows and then he mixes up the letters to Jaquenetta and Rosaline. Berowne enters, all fool in love writing sonnets after he thought he would be the last one to break the oath he signed. Berowne's monologue is so great because he addresses people from the audience, talking to them and using them as examples. One guy who has folded his arms has to stand in as Cupid along with Berowne mimicking the shooting of bow and arrow. Then he turns to a woman in the first row. "A woman-" Long pause and a long meaningful nod towards her as if she already knows that it is just her fault "-that is just like a German clock, Still a-repairing; ever out of frame; and never going aright, being a watch, But being watcht that it may still go right!" When he hears the king approach he climbs onto the tree to overhear the king all in love. Longaville comes on stage, while the king hastily hides behind some strands of leaves from the tree that he pulls down. Then Dumaine comes in, carrying a huge book with him, which reveals to have a ukulele (?) inside, and Dumaine starts singing. Awww. Longaville and the King reveal themselves, and we scream with laughter as the King asks "What would Berowne say?" as Berowne makes a face full of glee. We laugh even harder when Berowne comes out of hiding and asserts "I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin to break the vow that I'm engaged in" -- until Jaquenetta enters, carrying the letter Berowne wrote and giving it to the king. Berowne gets hold of the letter, tears it to pieces and --- stuffs them into his mouth, chewing it down. We almost fall off our chairs with laughter. The scene just so brilliantly piles joke upon joke, it is just a joy to watch. Berowne confesses and then lectures about love, delivering my favourite line from the play: "When love speaks, the voice of all the gods make heaven drowsy with the harmony." By now the whole audience is silent again, listening. And by the way, while we try to squee not too loudly, El hears a distinct "Awwwwwww!" from above at some point.

I think at the end of this scene the interval starts. We head out into the crowded foyer, get something to drink and then the others go back in already, while I go to the toilet. As I come back Costard and some others perform a song in the foyer before they go back in onto the stage where they perform another song before the play goes on. Holofernes, Nathaniel and Armado plan a show of the Nine (or five) Worthies to perform for the Princess. Then the princess and her ladies enter, deciding to swap the presents they received from the King and his attendants so that they should mistake them. Moth enters to introduce four Russians and the King and his men enter dressed in coats and beards and huge hats. And they dance. And sing. And then speak in Russian accent. "Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your feces, that we, like savages, may worship it." Believe me, if we could have continued watching from the floor, we would have rolled on it laughing. It is just hilarious. The women mock the men so much that they retreat, and return without their disguise only to be told that the ladies played a trick on them. They are mocked more and more and at some point Berowne just gives up: "Speak for yourselves; my wit is at an end." Yet all settle down to see the Worthies. But the show ends in a fight between Armado and Costard over the pregnant Jaquenetta with Berowne waving a lance between the contenders, and the scene breaks into a only half-serious struggle, when a messenger enters bringing the princess bad news. Berowne's "Worthies away! the scene begins to cloud." sobers everyone in an almost heartbreaking way. The light changes. The princess asks the King to wait a twelvemonth and a day, and so do the other ladies. Especially Rosaline's request to Berowne is just great: he is to jest a twelvemonth in a hospital and make the sick laugh. All would be rather sad if it was not for the song at the end of the owl and the cuckoo. I so wish there was a recording of that song because it was so lovely, the whole mood of the scene and at the end Rosaline and Berowne looking at each other as the owl flies around the stage. Awwwwwww. At some point they had hung big lanterns into the tree to create an even lovelier atmosphere. The play ends and we applaud like mad. Hoppi mimicks the tuwhit towhoo of the owl. We all go out with big smiles on our faces and sighing all the time because it was so beautiful.


Sorry. Just the memory. Haaaach.

Well, we collect our coats then and go outside to maybe get an autograph or two. Well, yes, we wanted one of David Tennant. I mean, we came all the way, so it would have been weird not even to try, right? Some of the actors come out at the front door and we get their autographs, but we are not fully aware of the fact that the real stage door is around the corner. (Actually I should have known, working at theatres and stuff.) Anyways. We wait. And wait. And sing every weird German song that comes to our heads, just to keep doing something. And wait. And chat with a lovely American lady who had come all the way to see the plays and can't leave either. So we wait longer. Our feet freeze. Our hands freeze. (Except mine because I have stuffed them into the pockets of my coat at some time.) But we can't stop waiting.

At midnight we give up though and head home, still smiling about the lovely play. Not even our cold hands and feet can harm the warm feeling inside.

2 Kommentare:

amanda james hat gesagt…

Hey, I tend to see the obvious a little later than most people.

haha...das sollte dein leitspruch werden:lach:
ach, und im tapp habense doch mittlerweile sowas in der art...

amanda james hat gesagt… grad gefunden...yeah...the doctor is everywhere