Friday, June 03, 2005

The Wild Rover

Slack blogging usually means one of three things: the entertainment of visitors, fear over impending examinations, or general laziness. I've actually been guilty of all three over this past week, to be honest, and #2 on that list is only likely to see further delays in the days ahead.

But a brief pause for Friday afternoon and an indulgent word about my evening plans. One of the wondrous aspects of Oxford in Trinity term is a veritable explosion of theatrical productions performed by troupes from various colleges and companies, from the common (Midsummer Night's Dream) to the unheard of...

Hence my attendance tonight at the following eclectic show, one discovered only late last night via email. Any bloggers out there ever even heard of the existence of this one:
This week, in the Magdalen College Fellows' Garden: The Rover, a late seventeenth-century comedy by the woman playwright Aphra Behn.

A group of cavalier Englishmen have been forced to flee to Naples after the Royalist defeat at Worcester. There, they have adopted a liberal sexual lifestyle, finding the exotic charms of the local women irresistible. They are soon joined by their piratical friend,Willmore, who proclaims his business to be 'love and mirth', and proceeds to
demonstrate this immediately on several women at once. But has he met his match in Hellena, a headstrong beauty who equals him both in wit, and in sexual liberality.

This production will be a promenade performance, with the audience following the action round various locations in the gardens. It will also involve the use of punts.
Theatre and punting - a marvelous combination. And I have a soft spot in my heart for ancient cavaliers and wild rovers whose business is "love and mirth". How classic is this description of the main character: "a swashbuckling sea captain ashore, the victim of every pretty face and the hero of a string of questionable adventures." Excellent. I certainly have been doing my best to live the opening lines of that classic St. Pat's song, especially over the past 360-odd days:
"I've been a wild rover for many a year
And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer"
How true. As for the rest of the song? Well "not yet", as Augustine might have said.


Post a Comment

<< Home