Wednesday, 26 August 2009
As a child, I never liked children’s theatre.
Even adult plays were pretty poor back home. Every time I went to watch another play, I felt almost nauseous with pity. I was embarrassed to look at those actors, who tried so hard and yet appeared provincial and amateur. I was fortunate to have had a film director relative in Moscow, who always managed to get us free tickets to some of the best plays staged in Taganka in Moscow. I knew what the theatre could be like.
My most vivid memory of the children’s theatre back home is a bunny with a ginormous arse.
- Why is that fat woman pretending to be a bunny, mummy?- asked a very young Scary Azeri.
- It is called acting- my mother explained.
Many years from then, in a country far away, I thought it was time to introduce my daughter to some culture.
We, ex-Soviets, are obsessed with cultural stuff. We spend hours in museums and theatres, whether we enjoy it or not. We just think we have to enjoy it to be considered a “cultural person”. It is a very Russian thing. And a lot of “Russianized”Azeries are not immune to that, either.
"This is why I live so close to London"- I told myself.
What could a three year old enjoy?- I thought - Oh, this one sounds appropriate.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
I am not sure what those guys were thinking when they came up with that script. Perhaps, they attempted to please everyone in the audience, including the parents. Perhaps, they were just heavily intoxicated.
Let me tell you the Goldilocks story, version 2009, reflecting all the current issues in the UK. It is quite fascinating, honest.
So, you all know the basic Goldilocks story.
NB: For my back home readers- the nicked version ( just like we watched Buratino, unashamedly stolen from Pinocchio and never had a clue) is “Mashenka and the Three Bears”.
But this was a modern, or arty-shmarty interpretation.
There were two circuses, one was a family run business (good guys) and another -their competition (the bad guy)
The good guys struggled in the current recession climate, especially with the competition from the bad guy. He dared to follow them around and steal their potential audience. No idea how he managed that: the good guys had a competitive advantage in the face of a large-breasted Goldilocks with a dangerously revealing cleavage. (At least the fathers in the audience had some fun.)
Besides Goldilocks, there was her daddy-the circus owner, as well as a tall and skinny bloke- the story teller, who was so hypnotised by Goldilocks’ assets, that he was ready to propose to her.
You are probably thinking: "OK, where are the bears then?" Well, the bears lived in a forest nearby. They were very talented and could dance and sing beautifully. So, Goldilocks (the moral here: she had some brains and not just big breasts to get ahead in this life) came up with an idea to talk the bears into coming to work for their circus. Clearly, nobody could compete with singing and dancing breasts....Oops, sorry! bears.
Unfortunately, the evil guy over-heard their discussions, and went ahead to trick the bears. He chained them down, and wanted to force the poor animals to perform at his circus.
As they said in Alien vs Predator: “Whoever wins- we lose”. Poor bears did not have any choice in that game. They could either fall in love with the Goldilocks and her breasts and agree to work for her circus; or just get forced to do the same by the evil man. I personally thought the only happy ending for the poor bears would be to tell both parties to f*** off and leave them in peace.
But of course, in the end it was Goldilocks, who got the best deal: the bears, as well as a marriage proposal from the annoying story-telling guy. Happy ending.
Most of the kids left well before the end. The adult humor, the bizarre costumes, the cleavage….it all got a bit too much for the young audience. My child stayed till the end. I am concerned she will need therapy in a few years. But hey, this is modern theatre. I probably just did not get it.