Tag Archives: bagaduce theatre

Nvbuunghh, ‘glaar’ghh

Nvbuunghh, ‘glaar’ghh is of course, the approximate sound of a foghorn in New London, Connecticut in 1912 where Eugene O’ Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night is set.

In our zero-attention-span-smart-phone times sitting through a play with the word ‘long’ in the title may be a challenge. Think of it as binge-watching a family drama which deals in a pre family-therapy era with the emotional undercurrents around denial in a desperate family situation. Anyone touched by the current opioid addiction epidemic will recognize the profoundly disturbing themes of the play.

It is slightly amazing that a theatre in a barn as far north in the USA as you can go without bumping into Canada can field this dark masterpiece immediately following that witty frivolity, The Importance of Being Earnest, with some of the same actors.

http://www.bagaducetheatre.com for details, where Trish Conolly, Broadway veteran (and full disclosure: my wife) has done it again, directing a splendid cast in a formidable production.

I reckon the planet Neptune has a lot to do with this play, if you’re interested in my take on that please go here for more…

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Talking of storytelling and the intuitive arts, when I was 19 I was given a deck of tarot cards. I had no idea what to do with them. But later I discovered number, color, seasonal, elemental, runic and other correspondences. The deck is an intuitive lens. Next Tuesday I will be talking about how the cards relate to the planets of the solar system. Get in touch with your inner woo-woo here.

Proud to be Australian

I’m half Australian and at this moment I’m very proud of it. Here’s why:

http://www.4ocean.com

A couple of Aussie surfers decided to make a difference. Oh and credit where due, it was a proud American who pointed this out to me with the gift of a bracelet.

I was on the way to Maine from New York City (where my wife Patricia has directed a very fine, very funny production of The Importance of Being Earnest. If you’re up this way http://www.bagaducetheatre.com for details), and I took in some fast food. The immediate cost to me was about $12 and the medical risks. The cost to the planet in plastic waste absurdly higher and more durable.

So at the micro-level of the individual, this was a piece of political and eco irresponsibility on my part and in many ways almost impossible to avoid given that our global mono-culture is in thrall to plastic.

At the macro-level political nonsense abounds, there are no limits to the appalling absurdities, callous cruelties, preposterous posturing, and general drongo* behaviour … well we all know that, right? After all:

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As usual Shakespeare gets there first. On tyrannical political power he says:

“Man, proud man, dressed in a little brief authority plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep.”

As I get older the woo-woo perspective makes more sense. Your basic vote-chasing politico will go so far as to say we ought to be environmentally responsible for “future generations” – Well I’m not too sure that anyone is actually too bothered about these famous “future generations”. But what if …

What if the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, the neo-pagans, the Platonists, the early Christians, your basic esotericist, quantum physics and Shakespeare (What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?) all have a point, and we the present generation are more intimately connected to future ones than appears in three-dimensional linear space-time thinking?

Somewhere between the micro and the macro there is a remedy, one of many that we will need.

http://www.4ocean.com

For 20 bucks you can get a bracelet made from recycled materials and 1lb of plastic taken out of the seas.

It’s a start.

 

  • Drongo – Australian vernacular. Dozy f***wit, silly fellow, waste of space etc…

The Stage at the end of the Lane

Every theatrical venture is a triumph of the improbable over the impossible. None more so than a theatre in northern Maine where I’ve just had an intense few days.

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The Bagaduce Theatre lives in a large barn where swallows nest at the end of a long driveway on a peninsula where seals frolic in the swift flowing tidal inlets.

Here I am with an actress that I know well, Patricia Conolly of Broadway fame:

unnamed (5)It was like one of those European whirlwind tours — if it’s Thursday it must be Prague — The centre piece this season was an adaptation of The Tempest by Shakespeare, but also including segments from all your Bardic favorites! Other programs took in: Checkov, Durang, Shanley, Bennett, all the way up to and including a reading from that little-known British/Australian author C. McPhillamy.

I would have posted earlier so that you could have come to see a show if you were passing, but the days were full, hopping in and out of various costumes, brewing the excellent coffee available from the nearest town, Blue Hill, and grappling with the local mosquitoes which in that locale are special forces trained.

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Here are some of the company: Monique Fowler who is the driving force behind this splendid effort is center. She gives us a delicate Prospero aided by all the actors seen below and that redoubtable man of theatre craft John Vivian, who when not operating lights and sound, was everywhere, performing in one body the work of three men with behind the scenes support.

 

And this is the company at a lobster dinner given by the producers: The lobster flowed (there’s no other word for it), the wine flowed. We laughed, then there was singing. We all ate and drank more than would be advised by a doctor. I’ve said it before, in my line they pay you in fun.

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It was a theatre fest of the kind that reminds you why you joined.

 

The Bard and the Stars

IMG_9743‘Not so my lord, I am too much in the sun …’ Hamlet

‘The inconstant moon who is already sick and pale with grief…’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream

‘The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo…’ Love’s Labours Lost

‘O’er picturing that Venus wherein we see the fancy outwork nature…” Anthony and Cleopatra

‘Assume the port of Mars …’ Henry V

‘If Jupiter should from yond cloud speak divine things …’ Coriolanus

‘But thou, being, as thou sayest born under Saturn …” Much Ado About Nothing

I mention all this because this month I guest at http://www.bagaducetheatre.com where I get to do some Shakespeare up to and including the seven ages speech which, as above, references the seven planets of the ancient world.

And then on August 1st at 1pm eastern USA time, I’ll be talking live about these same planets and how they correspond with the tarot deck. Click here 

‘Course, if the Bard knew one thing it was how to put both sides of an argument so let’s not forget Edmund’s speech in King Lear:

‘This is the excellent foppery of the world that when we are sick in fortune—often the surfeit of our own behavior—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars, as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence, and all that we are evil in by a divine thrusting-on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon’s tail and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Fut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.’

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There’s no mention of Tarot in Shakespeare, but he does mention the names of all the cards of the Major Arcana except Hierophant and Temperance. Everything else is there … Fool (400 uses), Juggler (also magician), priestess appears only once in Pericles and so on through the rest of the 22.

So, to get my take on Shakespeare’s take, on how tarot and astro connect including a step by step demonstration of how this technical knowledge can add depth to your readings, and how quantum physics brings it all together, click here to register. It’s free.