It’s been a year since we moved into our new house close to Chester town centre. I do miss being close to the countryside and my more peaceful garden but this is outweighed by the fact that we can now walk most places we want to go. This summer holiday I have been taking advantage of this more, going to all sorts of events in Chester, which I may not have bothered with if I had to find a parking space first.
So in the last couple of weeks I have visited our new library/theatre/cinema Storyhouse on numerous occasions. I dragged slightly reluctant Kate to see a performance of Julius Caesar (Guardian review here - Chester doesn't often get a mention so I feel quite proud.) Kate enjoyed it in the end and so did I. I sometimes feel a little ashamed to admit that I don’t tend to enjoy performances of Shakespeare’s plays much, but this was an exception, probably because I have never taught it. It began in the auditorium outside the theatre where the audience formed part of the crowd greeting Caesar as if he were a victorious politician. Echoes of Donald Trump. Then we all took our seats in the theatre and watched him address the crowds. I also liked the scene where Caesar does his morning yoga routine while his wife tries to persuade him not to go to the senate on the Ides of March. . It was all modern dress and Mark Antony was played by a woman which some people in the audience didn’t like. I thought she was very good, and especially convincing in the scene when she changes the crowd’s response to Caesar’s death through her powerful speech. The performance has now transferred to the open air theatre in Grosvenor Park. I’m not sure how they will recreate it there without lighting and the clever device which provided blood for the murder scene by dropping it from above.
I've also been to a poetry workshop at Storyhouse and an exhibition of modern art in the cathedral. But I'll keep these to another post.