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.