With Covid either passing or just becoming the norm (whichever you believe), most aspects of life are returning to their pre-Pandemic conditions. One of these, thank goodness, is Original Practice Shakespeare in the Park!
Our own Laurelhurst Park is hosting eight of Shakespeare’s play in July, and we plan to see all of them. We love watching the Portland world go by on bicycle and foot, walking dogs and pushing strollers, as we wait for the play to start (and after it has started, as well).
We love the informal outdoor venue, sitting in the glen as the sun goes down, allowing ourselves to be carried away by the actor’s imaginations.
We love the Original Practice, which means the actors prepare and perform as in Shakespeare’s day, not rehearsing as a company and carrying only small scrolls of their lines. This keeps the acting fresh and, sometimes, hilariously spontaneous.
The first play was one I had never seen performed, Measure for Measure. It was surprisingly timely, having a theme of government-enforced morality, draconian punishments and official hypocrisy.
All this was handled with such wit and humor, cleverness and final retribution and made for a delightful, hopeful evening.
Saturday, we got to see one of our favorite plays, Much Ado about Nothing. It is a comedy about romances gone wrong and righted again with lots of funny dialogue and side stories. The scene where the ‘lying knaves’ are arrested was delightfully slapstick.
As we laughed and cheered during the play, the sun went down behind the huge trees, making everything more magical.
I look forward to our next FOUR Shakespeare plays to be performed in Laurelhurst Park, next weekend.