I was up in Stratford-upon-Avon tonight ahead of some discussion groups about comedy and Shakespeare that I am taking part in tomorrow. Once again I was reminded of school trips and Richard Herring Shoes
. It's slightly weird to be here in an official capacity as a guest of the Royal Shakespeare Company, rather a young lad attempting to use the opera glasses for free. I was staying in a hotel across the river. When I got there the computer system was down and I had to wait for a few minutes. Finally they got me a room, some good walk from reception. I opened the door to discover that the room was already taken. Thankfully I didn't walk in on the occupant in the middle of some embarrassing sexual encounter (thankfully?!!), but I had the opportunity to go through all of their possessions. I didn't take this opportunity, but instead trudged back to reception, hoping that they wouldn't make the same mistake with me once they'd got me a room. I told the receptionist who sighed and said, "Ooooh the Japanese!" It seemed unfair to blame all the citizens of a far away country, for what surely was her mistake. But some people will do anything to absolve themselves from responsibility. I was given another room, not so far from reception, but this time the key card wouldn't work in the door. I was a bit annoyed now and stomped back to reception, wondering which country's residents might be blamed for this error. Instead the receptionist just pulled a face that suggested this turn of events was impossible. But she gave me another card saying, "This one should work," in a way that made me think that she knew the first one wasn't going to. Sure enough I was in my room on the third time of trying.
Then over to the theatre to watch "A Comedy of Errors" (which my hotel experience had been an apt prelude to). I enjoyed watching the ducks glide down on to the river, hanging in the air and looking like they should just fall to the ground.
I enjoyed the play, which is a bit rubbish and revolves around two sets of twins who are separated when young and then turn up in the same town many years later with hilarious consequences. I would have preferred it though if the visiting master and servant had made good on their plan to escape with all the money and gold they had accrued accidentally, leaving the other twins at home wondering what the Hell had happened, their lives ruined and no-one able to explain it. I'm not trying to tell Shakespeare how to do his job... well actually I am. Get it together William. I know this was your first go at comedy and that's akin to people criticising me for my song "My Penis Can Sing", but still.
I am a bit nervous about having to take part in these discussion tomorrow as I am not sure I know all that much about some of the stuff we're going to talk about, but it's going to be fun to be up on that stage that I once had to squint at through inefficient opera glasses that I had illegally purloined.
More of which tomorrow no doubt.