Just arrived home. It’s lovely outside. The snow has melted, everything is muddy, it feels like spring.
I went to see a play tonight. “Nothing Sacred.” It was an adaptation of the Turgenev novel “Fathers and Sons.” Normally I’m an utter ponce about live-theatre, but I think I just play at being judgmental and too difficult to impress because I have a severe case of stage-envy. So setting all that aside, I really enjoyed the play. Almost as much as I love the book.
I was thrilled with the politicking that happened on the stage, the way that Bazarov the nihilist spat and shouted his lines, the dandyism of Pavel, the uncle, and the sweetness of Arcady’s father. Arcady was a bit of a liability because he was played as a comedic character when he should have been unbearably endearing, but in spite of that, the play was very good. And I know it was good because all the Russian literature I’ve ever read leaves me feeling hollowed out, like some piece of my soul has been taken or at least shoved around a bit, and this play left me feeling the same way.
The one rather sharp criticism that I have is with the way the female characters were treated. The play was adapted some time ago by a Canadian playwright and for whatever reason, he wrote all the spunk out of the female characters. The Countess lost all of her mystery, her beauty and power. She became a simple, cruel, sadistic, and very skanky character. I’m not sure if that was lazy acting or bad writing. If it was bad writing then I’d accuse the playwright of failing to understand both the sixties (when he read the book) and the message of the novel. But, pshaw, this is the first play I’ve been to in a while, and the first time I’ve manage to get through any play without cringing, so why criticise? I liked it.