Friday, 1 August 2008

laboratory of wishes

On Wednesday, Tannis and I went to see this production of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood. It was one of those rare, perfect nights at the theatre.

It started with a perfect companion. Then beer and nosh on a patio on a perfect summer evening.

And then. Oh and then - a perfect combination of words and voice and sounds and music. All the characters of Under Milk Wood danced before us in their imperfect, perfect humanity.

Perfect clear-eyed, misty-eyed view. Perfect for laughter. Perfect for love. Perfect for knowing.

And then this:

I'll tell you no lies.
The only sea I saw
Was the seesaw sea
With you riding on it.
Lie down, lie easy.
Let me shipwreck in your thighs. ...

Remember her.
She is forgetting.
The earth which filled her mouth
Is vanishing from her.
Remember me.
I have forgotten you.
I am going into the darkness of the darkness for ever.
I have forgotten that I was ever born.

Thank you Dylan Thomas.
Thank you Kenneth Welsh.
Thank you
Ted Dykstra and Mike Ross and Jenna Dalla Riva and Brooke Graeff.

Get there if you can.

If you cannot, there is this recording online.

(I am not a huge fan of this version. It flashes me back to the forced silence-and-reverence listenings to the dreary, endless singsong of A Child's Christmas in Wales that were an annual penance paid during my own childhood Christmases in Ottawa. I remember lying on the living room floor soundlessly chanting the Mae Rose-Cottage promise -- "You just wait. I'll sin till I blow up!" -- if they made me stay one-more-minute. Of course, what I meant by sinning was reading nothing but books outside the good-for-you, up-to-your-potential section. I would never crack a canon-classic again. That would show them.)

But really, stop reading about me and get to Soulpepper fast.

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