All’s Well under the heavens.

All’s Well That Ends Well. Theatre set up. August 2008. Ventnor Botanical gardens, Isle of Wight.

So after my last few effusive posts it would seem that whenever I go to the theatre I come away, stars in the eyes, brimming with enthusiasm.

Well in order to balance things out I thought I would talk about a play which didn’t quite rocket me into the same giddy stratospheres as recent theatrical outings.

Now, to be fair I did know this before I went. It has become something of a local tradition. Every year the same group of actors visit the fair island of my abode and perform at Ventnor botanical gardens, a lovely spot on the south side of the Island all steep cliffs and rocky outcrops. So every year I bundle along to see these guys, and every year I half enjoy it and half find myself thinking ‘why did I go?’

So why keep going? Perhaps it is more to do with the experience of enjoying theatre in a non traditional space; and this is certainly a special space. Perhaps it’s the strange kind of enjoyment that comes from sitting with friends bundled up in extra layers of jumpers, blankets and coats whilst nibbling at cheese and biscuits, wine and jaffa cakes. Maybe, just maybe, it’s about having another opportunity to enjoy theatre.

So with all this too enjoy what was the acting like? Hmmm. Now to be fair there are usually several members of this company who are competent, entertaining, lively and even insightful. On the other hand there are moments which are rather turgid and monotone: speeches of grief are spoken at the same tone as moments of glee. I always end up wanting to call out ‘look happy!’ ‘Look sad!’.

Still as always with Shakespeare the verse shines through and there were one or two lovely moments in this play.

Perhaps one or two was not enough.

Or maybe I will go back again next summer.


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