Felicity, Ginger, and I went to the Mermaids’ production of Much Ado About Nothing performed in St Mary’s Quad. The 1993 film is among my favorites and tends to taint my judgement but I’m glad to say that the play was very well done. Leonato and Antonio became Leonata and Antonia to highlight a female court vs. male soldiers, and the shift in gender allowed for some new entendres and did not diminish from their role in the narrative. I was amused that when the soldiers processed in I immediately knew who was whom and that Don Pedro reminded me of John Cook. The cast was all very good, and Benedick and Beatrice, of course, were as insufferable as ever.
Don Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.
Beatrice. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.
Yesterday I started The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison, and it was so good that I finished it today. It is something akin to Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, but slower, more focused. One review I read of it described it as a Beauty and the Beast tale, and it is to some extent, except that it is so refreshingly done that it can be its own story. Less a story about the princess and her hound, the novel is about Prince George, his development as a prince, his political engagement with the Princess of Sarrey, and his secret; but the princess and her hound force George to come to terms with his own shortcomings. Harrison’s unassuming prose allows the words to disappear to let the reader really enter her world; quite near the perfect balance of author-provided information and reader-provided imagination. The animal magic, also, was quietly woven into the fabric of the story. The animals were not human personalities wearing animal form, but were actually animals: rabbits named themselves Hop and Leap, horses were proud and stubborn, domestic dogs lost their own language in the presence of humans’. I also liked it because events did not unfold quite as I had thought they would; it is always nice to be surprised. And the ending wasn’t exactly happily-ever-after with a perfect pink bow; it ended hopefully, and realistically. While this novel could stand on its own, I’m glad to hear that there is a sequel, if only to enjoy another well-written story.