Day one of the Seattle Outdoor Theatre Festival! There are nine different plays being put on in Volunteer Park over the course of the weekend, seven of which are Shakespeare (well, there are two different productions of Taming of the Shrew), and I've been to see the beginning of them today. I saw The Merry Wives of Windsor and Richard III. Also playing today were Taming of the Shrew (the same production I saw a couple of weeks ago on the Fremont Troll), The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and this evening The Comedy of Errors. I decided not to stay for Comedy of Errors, since I want to see Twelfth Night at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning because I have friends in it and I know I won't get up that early if I get home that late.
Merry Wives of Windsor was good fun, if rather silly. Some of the various random people/servants/etc wore signs around their necks saying who they were (Servant, Another Servant, Taller Servant, Not Actually French, Ford In Disguise, and so on), which they switched out to play different characters. I'm not entirely sure what the justification behind that was, although it was certainly funny.
I think I've seen enough Shakespeare now to be able to say with reasonable certainty that I like the tragedies/histories better than the comedies. The comedies can certainly be done very well (I liked Taming of the Shrew on the troll a lot), but the acting in the tragedies usually seems to be more interesting. Richard III was great. You may remember how in January I took a little tour of Richard III, and read/watched several things related to him. I was definitely very keen to finally see the play on a stage (or in some grass, rather), and was definitely not disappointed. Richard was played by George Mount, who was very good, and who I must say I hoped was playing Richard when I saw all the actors getting ready before the play. I also really liked the Queen (Elizabeth, the one who was mother of the Prince of Wales), I liked her acting (I don't have the program to tell you who the actress was). Everyone in this play, in fact, acted very well.
It's rather nice now to have seen enough plays to recognize actors all the time. The fellow who played Irwin in History Boys was Earl Rivers, and Laertes from last year's much-loved Hamlet was Catesby. No doubt there will be more familiar actors in tomorrow's plays, Twelfth Night, King John, and Taming of the Shrew. I'll talk about those plays in the next couple days. And yes, at some point, I will finally get around to reviewing The Dud Avocado.