Wherefore Will Again?
By Patrick Hurley
When posing the question of relevance in the theater, one cannot help but be persuaded by perhaps the greatest playwright to have ever put ink to page.
Though the pursuit of knowledge about the bard has been a source of inspiration for over four hundred years, the litany of overwritten prose, underwhelming character studies and of course the usage of his more famous quotes as dialogue is so extensive one could hardly keep track of the attempts to immortalize the already immortal master. And so, in the spirit of paying homage to the great master, the remainder of this piece shall be in Elizabethan prose:
twas the night ere his death, at which hour Shakespeare (Philip Whitchurch) and his valorous wife, Anne (Sally Edwards) didst ponder all of life’s most wondrous quandaries. t didst so befall that the couple, after spending many moons thusly separated, has’t rediscovered fusty passions, bitter resentments and cankerous ills toward the other. Whereby, this final night of Will’s life didst prove the testament that true love truly never did run smooth.
Anne, a mistress of advanced years, hath been at home gently awaiting for her husband’s homecoming, much like Penelope, that lady was faithful to the last, awaiting for the seemingly impossible. And Will, much like the Homeric hero Odysseus, doest not disappoint his e’er devoted wife. Complications for the couple arises at which hour the very nature of his hubandry is called into question. the lady hadst been reduced to the role of the weaker gender, through only the fault of her birth, and in defiance decideth to standeth up to her good, but mostly absent sir and calleth out his shortcomings. tis the course of one long night the lady doest protest too much. And in returneth, he maketh a stout and sturdy argument to h’r.
This production employs at once brevity and excess, it’s time in running as brief as a wickless candles, shines light only on its plotless existence, hence, it moves as sluggish as a drunkard in a thick Devonshire bog. I wast twid’ling mine thumbs in apprehension and disbelief at the clear needeth for such redundant storytelling. Wherefore? William Shakespeare, again? I was dumbstruck. For the total repetition of ‘t all. For declaring the same thing. ov’r and ov’r again. Fie, I sayeth, Fie upon this fusty rudimentary method. Moreover, and hence, wherefore is theatre, spelled with an “re”, such a perplexing animal? And wherefore wend to the theater, spelled with an “er” anymore at all? And how do we reconcile one for the other? Or should we? I darest say, I do not knoweth.
Julia St. John, capable director, doest what the lady can. It’s minimal at it’s best, and soporific at its most inane. This might beest the fault of the audience. Perchance I am being too like a toad, ugly and venemous in mine assessment. it hath its merits. After all t didst end in a timely fashion. The words wast adequate and the performances not lacking valor. As t wast, and wast again… overdone. Alas, I believe to some what doth taste overcooked must seem undone to others. And so it is with art. And to all mine theater broth’rs and sisters I say, cease thy prattle, forswear thy souls to art and changeth thy ways, or we we wilt beest sentenced to a life that is derivative of times great passage. Much like the words on this very page, it will cease to be relevant at all.
Shakespeare his wife and the dog.
By Philip Whitchurch
Directed by Julia St. John
The Edye at The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage
1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401.
When: January 18 – 28, 2018
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8:00pm
Sundays at 4:00pm
Prices: Start at $45. (Prices subject to change)
Phone: Patron Services at 310.434.3200
In Person: Box office at 1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401 beginning three hours prior to performance.