Everyone’s a critic!

As you’ve probably gathered, I live near Stratford on Avon, so there’s always plenty of hot thespian action going on. Many’s the time I’ve stalked Anthony Sher round Marks and Spencer, trying to get a look in his shopping basket. And I believe they even put on plays as well.

Another fringe benefit is that the RSC has an education department that, periodically, puts on courses and workshops and stuff like that for children.

So, pushy mother that I am, I sent the twins along to a half-day session on Macbeth. They were about 5 or 6 at the time – obviously ready for Shakespeare – but on the way home, the conversation with my daughter went something like this:

Me: So darling, did you enjoy it? Was it fun?

Daughter: (heavy sigh) Not really. Shakespeare’s so babyish!

Me: (thinking – gosh! She’s even brighter than I thought. She’s a genius!) Babyish? Why’s that?

Daughter: Well, you know that speech they taught us, the witches’ one?

Me: What, ‘Double, double, toil and trouble’?

Daughter: Yes, that one. It’s stupid. Everyone knows there’s no such place as Toyland.

So there you are. Shakespeare’s babyish. You have it from the lips of a genius. My daughter, the literary critic.

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15 thoughts on “Everyone’s a critic!

  1. Toyland trouble! Oh my God, that is hysterical. Couldn’t you just lay down and say, “I give up” every time your children spit in the face of culture? I could.

    I’d like to take the kids to Stratford in May, but I wonder if the kids would care? I should appeal to the doomed romantic living inside Hadleigh’s head and let her read Romeo and Juliet.

  2. I think that’s hilarious.

    I ahem, picked up Macbeth when I was eight, because a copy was lying round in my bedroom and I liked the cover. I loved the witches and didn’t get anything else. But I still love the play. So nothing is ever wasted.

    I do think the Animated Shakespeares are brilliant for introducing kids into it, mine have loved them since they were tiny. We were given one and they were so keen I went and got loads more out of the library.

    Only awkward point was when I was asked by a four and six year old, What does untimely ripped from his mother’s womb mean, mummy???

    love jx

  3. aha…this is YOU – like the noo digs!

    p.s. i adore jeremy vine – how dare you meet him in the flesh before me

    *hurls a mouldy cauliflower from the darkest recesses of the fridge*

  4. I think that’s rather perceptive. Dunno why, but it reminds me of this conversation I once heard on the radio

    Caller: Why doesn’t Anti Neimi get into the Scotland team?

    Pres: Er, he’s Finnish

    Caller: He’s no finnish, he’s only 28

  5. melissa i fear i was deluded myself. but there’s a whole industry out there waiting for us with outstretched arms …
    momish she’s quite a drama queen – and approaching teenage, it’s getting pretty intense!
    nat i knew someone who was doing voice work at the rsc at the time, and i mentioned it to him – he thought it was very funny too. but of course, ‘toyland’ has more meaning for a 6-year-old than ‘toil and’. you should definitely come to stratford. keep me posted. x
    otj don’t be sad – i reckon the bard can take it!
    jane do you mean those marcia williams ones? i love them – always read them myself before going, to make sure i understand the plot! (my husband did an ma at the shakespeare institute, so i have to keep my end up). untimely ripped – ooer – rather like my twins!
    crank elementary, my dear crankson (and welcome)
    urban thanks for the cauliflower – it’ll do for supper. jv is rather lovely – and much more so in the flesh!!!! mind you, all the people who work on his show are know for their utter hunkiness …
    100 i maintain it’s proof of genius (pushy? moi?). that radio thing is very funny – but it’s all slightly remeniscent of the ben jonson/johnson thing too. arrrgh – my life is made up of confusion …. (going to lie down in darkened room)

  6. jessica for jesus’ sake forbear! think what it will do to him to realise that he’s the world expert on a playwright who has now been found to be babyish!

  7. I am very jealous that you got to meet Jeremy Vine (I know, I know, I’m on the wrong post but I’ve only just caught up with your new blog. Good to see you back, by the way!) Anyway, I am desperately impressed that you were interviewed by him. I shall listen to it this weekend.

  8. msm glad you followed my trail of crumbs through the blog forest (oooh – get me – i am a lady novelist you know). jv is entirely super (but scary). i bet the interview isn’t available any more because the link i did before has expired, so they probably only keep it on for a bit. anyway, you don’t need to listen – i was absolutely fantastic and not a mophead at all. honest
    rocky please don’t tell me you munted him! o no – i guess he’d be a deadly enemy then, out for your blood and everything. do you take nominations for munterspace?

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