My birthday is in January and this year, in celebration of my advancing years, we thought we’d go and play at being grown ups for an evening. So we went to the theatre – and it’s not even the Festival! Yes, we had to remind ourselves that there is theatre in Edinburgh outside the Festival. I used to love going to the theatre as a child when my mother would take various of her offspring to the Theatre Royal in Brighton but, in recent years, we’ve more often had trips to the cinema. And, having children of a certain age, we rarely see anything more advanced than a 12A. We could, of course, have gone out for the evening on our own but thought we’d like a family outing and would take the children to the theatre with us. Whether or not they would appreciate The Glass Menagerie at the Lyceum in Edinburgh was, of course, another question entirely.
January is by now almost lost in the mists of time. But we were in Manchester at the weekend for the World Short Course Swimming championships and I noticed advertisements up for the same production of The Glass Menagerie that we’d seen in Edinburgh. Then, on Women’s Hour this morning, Brenda Blethyn was talking about her part as Amanda Wingfield so I thought I had to dust down this post that I started months ago.
Anyhow, we went out for a meal and we went to the theatre and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the intimate setting of live theatre a very refreshing change from the cinema. The production hadn’t had great reviews and I’m afraid it didn’t get great reviews from my offspring. “It’s just like school” complained GP1, who was spotted texting in the middle of the show. He had been reading an Arthur Miller play for Standard Grade (was it A view from the bridge? Or maybe Death of a salesman.) And GP2 wanted to know why it was called A Glass Menagerie; some of the subtleties – and not so subtleties – had clearly escaped him. GPD and I however, enjoyed it.
I particularly liked the portrayal of the triangular mother-son/mother-daughter/brother-sister relationships which may have been set in the Depression but had a strong modern resonance. “Some things never change” I thought. As I confiscated the mobile phone.