Do You Like to Watch?

I’m very peculiar about plays. When I’m in the mood to experience theatre, often I find myself rummaging through the Google video section with a less than satisfied attitude about the whole ordeal. My recent problem with missing Hamlet in Buffalo, NY on my way back from Niagara Falls prompted me to pause my perpetual reading of Don Quixote. I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish that book at this rate.

On the other hand, I am still reading other works and being productive in the meantime. I’ve fit many stories into the reading breaks of that novel. I’m not usually a “several irons in the fire” type person, but with reading I can be. Slow and steady will win this race. I also think not having anyone else to talk about it slows up the progress, too. Why bother, when the majority of your neighbors stopped reading after high school, right?

There is a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet starring Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. These actors are well known to me through other shows, namely Star Trek: The Next Generation and Dr. Who, but I’ve come to realize it was modernized. I get really weird with modernization, as it often feels out of place. It’s like putting drywall over plaster, when the plaster is what needed to be reconditioned.  Is that being a “purist”? I have no idea. It simply feels better that way. 

I also find reading a play gives me more enjoyment than watching it on stage or screen. What’s better about it is I can control the delivery of each character as I would want to see it. Sometimes actors and actresses don’t play a part in an interpretation I find plausible and just reading the script allows me to bypass that problem. Is that being a control freak, or having a certain preference?

How about you? Would you rather watch a play or read a play?

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11 thoughts on “Do You Like to Watch?

  1. I prefer performing in plays, though I am rusty. 🙂

    If you haven’t seen Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, I highly recommend it.

    I dragged MTM to see Patrick Stewart in The Scottish Play…….I was in heaven……..MTM was in hell…………

    • MTM took one for the team though, and I bet that made your evening.

      • I actually felt awful because he wasn’t enjoying it. At intermission, he looked at me with foggy eyes and said, “WHAT is going ON in this play?” You have to understand that his ear does not process sung lyrics, and iambic pentameter is rather musical, so……

      • I can relate to an extent. Opera’s had for me to follow, as I need subtitles constantly. Sung foreign languages are hard for me to translate. Sorry it wasn’t the best of evenings for you.

  2. Nicole says:

    I would normally say that watching a play is better than reading, but it’s interesting what you said about being able to control the delivery. I’ll have to think about that the next time I read a play. When Shakespeare wrote his plays, do you think he intended for people to read rather than watch them?

  3. kerbey says:

    If the play is free and no one next to me is talking or texting or shaking their seat, and the person behind me isn’t kicking my chair, and the audio system is high quality, then I would rather watch. But as that combination doesn’t exist in nature, I guess I’d have to read. Although you usually can’t read it as quickly as you watch it. There is some joy in being in on the joke and laughing with the audience and feeling like you collectively experienced something worthwhile, but the 6’7″ guy always sits in front of me, so that’s a tough call.

  4. angela says:

    reading since Beckett is a favorite…not sure if I could stand watching some of his plays performed…~

    • I did some reading up on him, and he might be an interesting read. Is there any particular play of his that stands out to you?

      • angela says:

        Go with his classic..Waiting For Godot. If you like that, then Happy Days might be a good follow up. Beckett has several works of fiction that are on my list, but yet to read…that said, most people rec his Malloy series. ~ a

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