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A review of the play the way of the world

The Shadow of Shakespeare 24 June 2017 Here I am sitting in the beer garden of a pub that may not be around for much longer due to the construction of a subway station, and having seen a wonderful production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead on the big screen and it starred none other than Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter fame who seems to be doing his best to distance himself from that fame, and I have to admit that he is doing a rather good job at that.

You may wonder why I am brin The Shadow of Shakespeare 24 June 2017 Here I am sitting in the beer garden of a pub that may not be around for much longer due to the construction of a subway station, and having seen a wonderful production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead on the big screen and it starred none other than Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter fame who seems to be doing his best to distance himself from that fame, and I have to admit that he is doing a rather good job at that.

You may wonder why I am bringing this up on a review of a Restoration Comedy, and I could probably say no reason, but there is a reason.

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I say that because, at least in my mind, I simply do not seem to be familiar with the plays, or the playwrights, between Shakespeare and the modern era beginning with Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. Okay, Congreve wrote sometime after the Restoration Period, which began in around 1660, however his works are still considered to be Restoration Comedies. The Restoration Period is a period that came immediately after the restoration of the monarchy after England's rather disastrous experiment with being a republic.

It also came after a period of time when all of the theatres were closed down thanks to the Puritans considering theatres to be little more than dens of iniquity from which nothing good, or pure, ever came out of. In a way it seems to be quite similar to the anti-Dungeons and Dragons sentiment that arose during the Eighties from the Religious Right and I still remember getting the cane in High School for consorting with the devil simply because a friend and I were caught playing the game during lunchtime.

However, Way of the World is pretty standard for the restoration period as it tends to be farcical and also deals with romantic relationships, but not in a way with which we would be familiar. The thing is that the modern romantic comedy that we know and somewhat despise is nothing like the farcical performances of this period.

The play deals with quite a few things common with the time, including people wanting to get married due to the fact that they will get money in the bargain, adulterous affairs, and the inappropriateness of marrying outside of one's class.

Mind you, I can't really go into too much detail because, as with most plays, I end up getting lost because they can be really hard to follow, particularly if I haven't seen the performance. The other thing is that the plots are so complex that, unless you actually see them being performed, they can, once again, be difficult to follow. As such I can't really recommend reading some of these releases because the editors simply do not do all that much work to help us understand what is going on.

The Way of the World review at Donmar Warehouse, London – ‘a slick, handsome production’

If only they would put a reasonable introduction at the beginning of the play, and each of the acts, it would be much better. The thing is that these technically aren't changes in scenes because the only thing that is changing is who happens to be on stage. The action should flow. However, by breaking it up like that disrupts the action of the play.

Further, the characters aren't fully explained — they are simply names, and names don't necessarily tell us anything about the character. Sure, we are probably supposed to work this out through their dialogue, but that simply doesn't work either. At least the person who owned the book I read did put some notes indicating who was in love with whom though it wasn't many.

The Way of the World, Donmar Warehouse, review: a serviceable revival of Congreve's complex comedy

However, I'm going to have to admit that I am not a huge fan of these comedies, namely because I never really find such comedies funny. Okay, I have been a fan of those high school and college comedy movies such as Animal House and Revenge of the Nerdsbut while these plays seem to be similar, they are certainly not the same. These high school comedies, just like these plays, are generally targeted towards a middle class audience, and this is the type of audience that was starting to appear at the time.

The other problem is that a lot of plays from this period seem to be caught up in the shadow of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare has cast an incredibly long shadow across the theatre. In a way it wasn't until Shaw and Wilde that we finally managed to escape his shadow. However, maybe it is because many of these plays were still written in living memory though Wilde and Shaw are becoming ever more distancewhere as the Restoration period is far enough back that the giant that Shakespeare happens to simply swallow them up.

Oh, I also got to see my football team win.