Saturday, 20 December 2008

Bawdy Jokes In Shakespeare..? Who Knew?!?

Outraged theatre-goers walked out of a performance of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, describing a simulated sex scene between two men as ‘pornography’.

Children as young as eight were among the audience at the performance of The Comedy of Errors at The Old Laundry Theatre, in Bowness, Cumbria.
Oh noes! The children..!
It featured one of the play's characters Dromio guarding a door when a man dressed as a woman walked up to him, pulled down his pants and Dromio's pants, before the pair simulated sex.

No genitals were on show, but buttocks were visible.
How very British that sounds...
One theatre-goer Chrissie Greaves, 56, attended the performance with her husband and 15-year-old son.

She claims an elderly man was so disgusted at the scene he vaulted over a barrier in order to escape the auditorium.
Oh, my...! I’m so jealous – I would love to go to see a play where someone did that! And not just because they couldn’t stand the performance of some ex-soap starlet, either...
‘They then had some slapstick with breaking wind, and bare buttocks were on show through the door.

‘There was nothing on the ticket that said it was unsuitable for children.
Since when have fart jokes and bare bums been unsuitable for children?

I know it was nearly fifty years ago, sweetie, but what do you think you thought was the greatest joke EVER when you were five or six? I’ll wager it had the words ‘pee’, ‘po’, ‘belly’, ‘bum’, or ‘drawers’ in it...
Peter James, LAMDA principal, said: ‘A careful reading of the text would demonstrate that we did nothing that was uncalled for by the Bard.

‘However, it is never our intention to cause offence to any member of the audience and we fully support the comments that have already been made by the Old Laundry Theatre.’
Shame on you, Peter! Didn’t you realise a faithful recreation of the play wasn’t going to be expected by a portion of your audience? They were probably baffled by the play’s foreign setting, as everyone knows Shakespeare was English, innit?
The theatre's general manager Richard Foster said: ‘The Old Laundry Theatre apologises wholeheartedly for any offence caused to the audience during Monday night's performance of The Comedy of Errors.

Perhaps in hindsight the theatre should have put up a notice, warning the audience of the content of the play.
Yes, perhaps. After all, in this day and age, it’s obviously expecting a bit too much to assume they’ve ever read, or been taught at school, any Shakespeare, isn’t it...?


Anonymous said...

How would they cope with the 'cunt' pun in Hamlet?

James Higham said...

PCism leaves me apoplectic.

Furry Conservative said...

There's a 'c*nt' pun in Hamlet? Jesus Christ, I've read it twice and didn't see it. Call the police!

Anonymous said...


HAMLET: I mean, my head upon your lap?

OPHELIA: Ay, my lord.

HAMLET: Do you think I meant country matters?

OPHELIA: I think nothing, my lord.

HAMLET: That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.

There you have it, "cuntery matters". And it isn't just my dirty mind, this is official interpretation of the B'ard.

Anonymous said...

Dave H

Thanks for that info: for God's sake don't tell Wossy or it'll be featured to death in every programme of his returning series next year.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable how easily offended people seem to have become. Most plays of the late 16th, early 17th century contained a fair amount of sex and violence - it was what the audiences wanted.

If the audience you describe were offended by this, they should try, by example, "The Revenger's Tragedy" - they'd be apoplectic!!

Scott said...

They did see the revengers tragedy! the next day. I was in the comedy of errors cast and we were doing the two plays in rep!