Coming in March: Reading the Theatre

In the dismal days of late winter, as we enter the second year of pandemic-induced distancing and lockdowns, I’d like to introduce a theme that may provide a welcome counter-impulse and help us to look forward to the days when we can gather once more. As theatres around the world have been closed or severely limited in their ability to present live performances, we can still celebrate the joys of the stage in our reading and blogging lives.

Therefore I’m declaring March a month for “Reading the Theatre” here at Entering the Enchanted Castle, and I hope that others will be inspired to join. If anyone wishes to contribute a guest post, please let me know (email me at lory [at] enterenchanted [dot] com). Topics that could be explored are reviews of plays or play collections, reviews or reminiscences of live performances, books about the theatre (fiction and nonfiction), experiences of being in plays, thoughts about reading plays (a distinct art in itself), and whatever else inspires you.

I’ll be posting my own thoughts on some of these during the month, and looking forward to whatever you may come up with.

Will you join me in “Reading the Theatre”? What topics or themes most interest you?

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15 thoughts on “Coming in March: Reading the Theatre

  1. Hallo, Hallo Lory,

    You’re readathon is well-timed. I’ve been wondering if I should read or listen to audiobooks about the theatre for quite some time. As on Scribd I’ve seen they have performance audiobooks available and there are dramatic audios on Audible now as well. Likewise, I’ve been a long appreciator of Broadway – plays & especially Musicals which I’ve seen from afar, listened to original soundtracks or caught the motion picture adaptation. Such as the one I happily saw in late December (“The Prom”) which I loved dearly! In fact, NetFlix has a lot of musicals on right now which is keeping me smiles!!

    Which kinds of books are you going to seek out? Technique and Technical Theatre or Performance? Or stories of theatre professionals and their careers? Or actual plays? I am definitely raising my hand in curiosity and would love to know a bit more.. esp on how to pick the stories?

    1. Anything related to the theatre in any way. Your examples sound good, also fiction with a theatrical setting, criticism, memoirs, whatever. How to pick? I can post a list of suggestions, probably in February. Any other ideas , please let me know!

      1. Ooh! This sounds even more brilliant – as I hadn’t thought about fiction set round a theatre; such as Kathleen Marple Kalb’s Mysteries involving the stage and of course the famous one “The Phantom of the Opera” – which I love seeing in every incantation it takes-on from retellings to films,… putting on my thinking cap now!!

          1. I read an after canon retelling of the Phantom by Heather Webb a few years ago, but what really caught me was the anniversary performance from London of Phantom on stage – I believe on PBS? Wow. Literally blew me away by their voices, their conviction of the story & characters – I *felt!* like I was there living it through their experiences because they really transcended the sphere of being televised. Which is something I love to see happen… more recently, I felt this through seeing “The Prom” on Netflix. I never read the orig Phantom though isn’t that interesting?!

  2. I have John Milton’s masque Comus slotted for a reread in my Classics Club list so I’d be happy to move it up the schedule and offer a discussion, Lory. Would that suit? I’m thinking perhaps of a comparison with The Tempest which is also about a magician, as Comus himself is. It was first staged in Ludlow Castle, a few miles north of me on the Welsh Marches, so I wouldn’t mind making a virtual revisit to the place as we’re back in lockdown!

  3. Maybe I could write about our trip to see the first two Hilary Mantel novels on stage, in London. We saw Wolf Hall at the matinee and Bring Up the Bodies in the evening.

  4. I’m in! I have so many plays I want to read! Probably some more Noel Coward and maybe some earlier classics – might try Shakespeare which I haven’t attempted since college, and if I do Ibsen or Chekhov they can count toward the European Reading Challenge!

    1. Great to hear. I have never read Chekhov so that seems like a good target for me. And it can count for Back to the Classics too!

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