Is The Play The Thing?

Last week ended up being a bit bonkers, with a trip to a big expo for work down in London (and somehow managing to squeeze in an interview with Rose Tremain, which was amazing and surreal and I will share soon) so there was no blogging for me. I am however back off to London again this week for a mini 4 day break so plan on catching up with everything, and myself, then. I am really looking forward to it. This weekend I have been away again this time to my mother’s for for a weekend of family culture.

Forget a Saturday night line up of the delights of Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor, I had quite an amazing double whammy of entertainment. First up myself The Beard and I went to see An Inspector Calls which starred none other than my little sister Mim, who some of you will know having blogged here a few times, who was playing the role of Sheila…


Then if that wasn’t enough, once the curtain had fallen and we had congratulated Mim on being brilliant, we headed off to a drinking establishment not a million miles down the road to see The Mandolin Orchestra of South Shropshire and a special guest singer… My mum!


The band is actually made up of my stepdad, to the right of my mother in the picture, and his mates. My mum joins them for a second set and sings all sorts from The Beautiful South to Tina Turner, from Queen to Ella Fitzgerald. Despite what she had thought my reaction would be, I wasn’t embarrassed but actually doubly proud of her and Mim, the talented pair.

Seeing Mim in An Inspector Calls though reminded me of something booky, but first another picture of my little sister acting (see I am proper proud)…


I love An Inspector Calls and have seen it a few times (always forgetting the twist) yet I have never read the play. Nope not even at school, we just had Romeo and Juliet endlessly. Yet talking about plays later on, with a lot of cheese, with my mother I was reminded of others, like Alan Ayckbourn (The Norman Conquests in particular), Alan Bennett etc that I love. Yet I realised I never read plays as a book. I am now wondering if, every now and again, I should start. The question of course is where?


Filed under Random Savidgeness

10 responses to “Is The Play The Thing?

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings

    What fun! Congrats to your sis and mum! As for plays – I’m still recovering from the delights of The Mousetrap last night – just brilliant. Reading them? Maybe easiest to start with one you know the plot of – I always found that helped when I was doing Shakespeare at school!! 🙂

  2. Carol S

    The first plays I ever read apart from school Shakespeare, were those of Bernard Shaw because we had 2 huge volumes of the collected plays and the collected essays/forewords at home; and then later Tennessee Williams. An English teacher (June Thexton) subscribed to an American magazine that published a play per month. The excellent Mrs Thexton let who will borrow these so I’d read them long before seeing any production, avidly and with relish.How extremely lucky was I?
    I’m very impressed by your talented and creative family.

  3. quinn

    Such a talented family!
    I read my first plays this year (not counting Angels in America which i can’t get enough of)…maybe read a play w/ a topic that is riveting….’Normal Heart’ (and follow up play ‘Destiny of Me’)by
    Larry Kramer… “Cat on a Hot Tim Roof’ or anything by Anna Deveare Smith (amazing…she takes true happening, interviews everyone, then using their words exactly, makes a play..she also use to perform them playing all the parts..brilliant…she also plays best funny character now in “Nurse Jackie’ tv show)…all fast, can’t put down reads….ok..they also helped pad the # bks read this yr 🙂
    Congrats on interview w/…I’ll sure be listening…

  4. quinn

    p.s……’Master Class’…believe author is McNally…sort of true…Maria Callas teaches opera (what else) Master Class…quick and riveting and thought provoking…
    Isn’t it great that there is always some other exciting avenue of reading…and u have sent me down many a wonderful new path..thanks! quinn

  5. What a lovely weekend and what a talented family you have!

    I loved reading An Inspector Calls at school (I still have my school copy, shhh).

    I’m trying to read more plays at the moment, I can’t afford to see them often so I read so not to miss out. I started with Tom Stoppard, but there are so many good plays to be reading. I look forward to seeing where this journey takes you.

  6. Annabel (gaskella)

    Funnily enough, we’re reading Chekhov (The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull) for book group this month, and we’ve read Shakespeare, GB Shaw and last year The Weir by Conor McPherson. It’s different to reading a novel – but can be fun for a change.

  7. I read plays all the time (although they are hard to review!) I would give you a good Irish recommendation to start with – Conor McPherson and would also suggest Sam Shepard’s plays which are fabulous! If you like something darker then Simon Stephens. Congrats to your sister, sounds like you had a fantastic weekend!

  8. Yvonne

    I read quite a few plays, searching for ones that can be performed by our community theatre group. It’s frustrating to come across excellent works that we cannot produce because we lack actors of the right age and/or gender or that have complicated stage productions. For reading pleasure I can recommend The History Boys by Alan Bennett, 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, The Flick by Annie Baker, and Seminar by Theresa Rebeck.

  9. Linda

    Talent runs in the family. Congrats!! My favorite plays for newbies are by Albee: The Zoo Story and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Then you can move on to Sophocles’s Oedipus Cycle, Pinter and Stoppard.

  10. I tend to find reading plays a bit odd, as even the greatest ones just aren’t as good on paper as they are “acted”. But obviously they can still be great that way. I read and enjoyed Pygmalion recently and I’ve had a Chekhov collection on my TBR for years. I’ll be interested to see if plays start creeping into your reading!

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