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“You know what’s the hardest thing about being poor? People think we do this on purpose!” I quoted to Someone the other day. I then asked him to remind me the name of the play this comes from. He is usually a wiz at this sort of thing but he couldn’t remember it. Together we deduced we saw the play at The Shaw Festival and it was about a poor family in factory town set in Quebec and the playwright was probably from Quebec as well.* Yesterday I went through my journals trying to find the name but to no avail. In the future I need to do a better job: 

“We saw ‘Zastrozzi’. It was good.”  

I erroneously assumed I would remember things with only the title to trigger my memory. Fat chance of that. I have attended the theatre all my life. I’ve seen countless shows, alas most are forgotten. I wish I had done a better job at keeping track which ones I have seen. Maybe I should have kept the playbills, or made a separate journal for theatre-going. 

Going through the journals looking for the play with the quote in the exordium, I read about many plays I failed to recall. I also remembered several that I’d forgotten I have seen. I remember “Juno and the Paycock” but only that it was Irish and it was terribly depressing.  

Going to The Stratford Festival has the problem I’ve seen so many versions of each Shakespeare play and they all blur together in time.**

I haven’t been to the theater in over a year. The local companies plan to reopen this autumn and I am keen to see something. I’m curious to see if they will stick with the tried-and-trues hoping this will get some butts in the seats. After I attend a show, I will write in my journal more details as to scenery, the actors, and the basic story. 

This all rests on the necessity to stay awake in these things, which I am notorious not doing.  Small wonder then, that I cannot remember seeing “Hedda Gabler” at the Shaw despite what the journal says.***

*Dammit we still can’t figure it out. If any Spo-fan can tell I would be most grateful. 

**I tend to remember the more outrageous productions; this isn’t always a good sign of a show’s quality. I remember a production of ‘MacBeth’ in which Lady MacBeth falls through the floor, taking the carpet down with her. Then there was “A Midsummer Night’s dream” in the early 90s in which there was an inflatable phallus on stage. One doesn’t easily forget that sort of thing. 

***It ends badly. 

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June 2021

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018