Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last night, Paul took myself and his Mother to see Angels in America: Millennium Approaches at the Citizen's Theatre. It was simply astonishing - the actual written play, the performances, the production design. Simply brilliant. Even the actors' American accents were amazing - with the exception of one actor referring to a sofa as a "sofer" (Scottish pronunciation).

Although the first part was 3 hours and 30 minutes long, it really didn't seem like it. Part two, however, is apparently 4 hours long so bring a flask. We're going to see Part 2 this Friday evening and i'm quite excited.

Today, coming into work, i was chatting with a co-worker, who went to the same performance last night, and he remarked about the audience. Specifically, he wasn't entirely sure that the Scottish audience understood the cultural references. For example, there is a character in the play called "Ethel Rosenberg" - based upon the actual person by the same name - who was involved in a very famous mistrial of justice and executed, along with her husband, for "treason". My co-worker argued that the audience didn't seem to grasp the cultural reference due to their "schooling" or lack thereof. While it's true that the public (in so far that i mean STATE) schools over here seem more destitute than Canadian ones, i'm note entirely sure that i would agree. While Paul himself has experienced both the Scottish and American schooling system, while reiterating the shitty and classist state schools over here, i think the issue has more to do with it being an American event. i mean, i never learned about the Rosenberg Trial until i was in university because we were too busy being taught CANADIAN HISTORY in high school during history class, you know?

And although i took OAC Law (what you Brits call, "Highers"), we learned about the CANADIAN law system and famous mistrials such as: David Milgaard and Guy Paul Morin - so excuse me if i don't know about some "famous" British injustice. i never knew about Fred and Rose West or the Moors Murders until i moved to Scotland, so really what's his point? That the UK has a two-tiered education system systemically perpetuated by classism?

Well, then i concur.

1 comment:

Cursed Tea said...

Actually the UK has two systems - the Scottish one and the English/Welsh/Northern Irish one. I think it is hardly surprising that Scots don't know about Ethel Rosenberg - its modern US History and there is so much Scottish, British, European History and American history that it is hardly surprising that Scottish schools leave out the Rosenbergs. If you ask the average Scot on the street I guarentee they have no idea when the American Civil War was or even when the country was founded or declared independence.

I'm totally jealous of the play - sounds great - enjoy the next installment!! The Citz is a god send!

best Wishes