Monday, February 21, 2005

James Joyce

This last Friday I went and saw a production of James Joyce's The Dead a Musical. I read The Dead (the "short" story) my senior year of high school for Mrs Lake's English class and I hated it. Typical of Joyce it is riddled with tedious detail (three pages to explain what was eaten for dinner), obscure sybolism and many (old Irish) political references. I went to the play because I was morbidly curious to see how they made this story into a play, a musical at that. I have to say that the play was better than the story, but is still wasn't good. The first scene was more like a musical review. Everyone is at a party, there's some political discussion, every character has to sing at least one song. The songs were not bad - sort of traditional Irish sort of music- but it just went on and on. The problem with the whole thing is that The Dead (the story) is 30 some odd pages of detail and very little action or plot for that matter. This becomes a problem when you try to take it and put it on stage. The play was something like 90 minutes with no intermission. The lack of a break was a good idea because, given the opportunity, many people would have left durring the break.

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