The second play by Wilde I've read and by far his most famous. Deservedly so, in most ways. Although I'd seen a movie and a play adapted from it, the play still deserved to be read. Most of the fuss is slightly exaggerated, but still it's a fine comedy. Very witty, lively and sparkling.

24 November 2008


The inspiration for movies such as Pretty Woman and Miss Congeniality. Take an ugly duckling and try to transform her into a beatiful swan, that sort of thing. This witty play by Bernard Shaw isn't as straightforward as that though. Here the newly transformed swan starts biting back, dissatisfied with her fate. And so, while those movies end in safe romance, Pygmalion retains its sharp edges. There certainly are some vibrations between Eliza Doolittle and her Professor Higgins, but they lead more to bickering than spooning. The more delighting for the reader, I should say.

23 June 2008


I read this in preparation for a Dutch production of the play, tonight, by Het Nationale Toneel. To appreciate a live version of Shakespeare, one should read the written version as well is my motto. I can see why this play rates high in the Gender ranking lists. What with all the cross-dressing, gender confusion etcetera. But besides that, it feels like a reshuffling of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Same sort of plot, confused characters and corny comedy. That is not such a bad thing though. I liked watching Midsummer, so I suppose I'll like watching As You Like It (although this one's in Dutch). These comedies usually work better live than written.

23 April 2008

Arden Shakespeare, 2002
Originally published 1623


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