Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The unread read

Rummaging found Hamlet's Dresser: A Memoir (Bob Smith), Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia (George Crane), and Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town's Fight to Survive (Bill Kauffman). In Hamlet's Dresser is described the production of Twelfth Night that I saw but it wasn't Katherine Hepburn as Viola who was memorable; it was whoever played Olivia and Toby Belch and Malvolio. K. doesn't believe it, but I didn't even know who Katherine Hepburn was. We didn't watch television or go to the movies and the elders wouldn't have been interested in seeing the program. He describes the set perfectly. It was my first play seen in full production other than what the Clare Tree Major children's theatre brought for us. It seems odd that, other than mention in some actors' bios as having provided a training ground, the Clare Tree Major company appears only in bibliographies and has no other on-line presence. It lasted from 1923 to 1954. I think I remember that it came through three times a year. The actors were always very loud and dramatic (there was no amplification) and little kids were sometimes terrified. As to Bones, the author is irritating and from his writing it's difficult to believe that he's any kind of poet at all, other than in his own fantasy. Muckdog has been started. How these books came to our house I don't know.


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