People who know me well understand two things about me: I hate coffee and I love words. Words are my trade and I take care of them. We have a very strange language with a long history, but most people do not stop to think about how it came together. So here is a brief tour of some of the more peculiar points of English.
A little over a year ago, I got into my head a very strange idea. I decided to buy an issue of Playboy. The precise reason for this decision is a little fuzzy, but I believe it had something to do with viewing it as a rite of passage. At 21 years old I had never flipped through a Playboy in my life, and it seemed that I was missing out on a big aspect of popular culture.
It was Sunday night. As 7 p.m. approached, I began to notice the faintest hint of Lucky Strikes and whiskey in the air. This meant only one thing: Mad Men was returning. I was about to embark on the two-hour Season Five premiere, long-awaited throughout the show’s 17-month hiatus.
“Thank you, it was delicious.” This line succinctly captures the essence of the play in which it appears, the recent stage adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “proto-feminist” classic The Edible Woman. Canadian playwright Dave Carley’s script works as a satire of marriage, gender roles and relationships in general, and while it does not push the politics of these issues to their full extent, the play’s many facets offer plenty of enjoyment.
If birds could speak, oh the lyrics they would weave. The final instalment of Greystone Theatre’s season tackles ancient Greek tragedy combined with modern political commentary — along with a healthy dose of sex, violence and excitement. The Love of the Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker is a retelling of the old story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses about the tragedy of Philomele and Procne. Philomele’s sister Procne is married to Tereus, the king of Thrace. However, Tereus decides he is in love with Philomele, so he rapes her in a moment of emotional vulnerability, then cuts out her tongue when she promises to spread word of the rape.
No one likes to be bullied. It happened to many of us as young pups in the schoolyard, and it continues to happen, especially with the rise of cyber-bullying in the information age. So it was natural that an intrepid filmmaker would have the desire to make a hard-hitting documentary on the subject of bullying. Unfortunately, it seems our desire to click our tongue at the young people of today is superseded by our pathological need to present a sanitized version of everything to our children.
East of Berlin is a sharp, biting and brutal play, laced with wicked humour and profound philosophical resonances. It is a play about uncertainty that asks hard questions of its viewer, but also provides a comfort in its familiar search for meaning. It will not depress you as other Holocaust-themed plays might, but it will leave you shaken, somewhat off-balance and generally richer for the experience.
“Once upon a time” and “Happily ever after” — these phrases are not typically associated with the Holocaust. Yet so unfolds the storybook opening to All Through the Night. The dark yet strangely whimsical drama is the latest offering from the Greystone Theatre, sporting an all female cast and a striking atmosphere.
When I walked into the upper gallery of TCU Place on Jan. 21, I was struck by something unusual. It was classy — a little too classy. But that is the life of the fine arts student: spend your daylight hours shuffling through the hallway in black sweatpants or paint-covered jeans, but be prepared at any moment to clean up and dazzle your audience with elegance and charisma. We the Artists was one such occasion.
When the first Saints Row title arrived in 2006, it was dismissed by many as a shallow Grand Theft Auto clone. However, in subsequent years, the series has developed a significant fanbase and carved out a unique identity in the urban sandbox genre. The latest entry, Saints Row: The Third, takes a spectacular plunge off the deep end.