As I have said on my numerous reviews on Goodreads (and elsewhere), a play is meant to be watched, not read, and it can be very difficult to truly appreciate a play unless you watch it performed. The problem is that you rarely see many plays performed by playwrights of the past (unless that playwright is Shakespeare – he is still very popular). This means that it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to actually see any of Shaw’s works. However, imagine my delight when I jumped onto the website of the Palace Nova Brighton Bay and discovered that they were showing a production of Shaw’s Man & Superman that was recently staged in London. While I have seen movie adaptations of couple of his plays (The Devil’s Disciple and Caeser and Cleopatra – both of which have now been removed from Youtube due to copyright violations), I have yet, until now, seen one of his plays performed. Of all the plays that they could have chosen they selected a relatively obscure one.
Years ago, when I was in university, I had this desire to not so much review movies, but to critically analyse concepts that I picked up while watching them. I guess it had a lot to do with me studying English Literature and the realisation that I could take the same ideas and apply them to Hollywood movies. Okay, you may be wandering what one could possibly get out of Terminator II, but I have actually written a review and posted it on IMDB. However, that was back in the days before IMDB ever existed, so using my SMUG (Student Machine Users Group) account I created a basic webpage to catalogue my thoughts. Mind you, I doubt that website still exists, and even if it does it is floating somewhere deep in the web, cut off from the rest of the internet. A few years later a friend at church directed me to the website Hollywood Jesus which tries to get Christian meaning from Hollywood movies (while in many cases is not all that hard to do, it does depend on the movie: I doubt you are going to get any Christian meaning out of Debbie Does Dallas).
I have had a rather odd relationship with this particular play. I first read it during university and it really didn’t appeal to me, especially since the lecturer that we had seemed to be obsessed with sex. At the time I really didn’t like the idea of sexualising Shakespeare; until I realised that Shakespeare is actually really, really dirty (though due to the language most of the references simply go over our head). However, it wasn’t until one of my friend’s put on a production of this play that I suddenly understood what was going on, and that my lecturer was only outlining what many of the academics had been saying for quite some time. Still, it is certainly not one of my favourite plays, and many of the elements that appear in As You Like It also appear in his other plays.
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