Tag Archives: play

Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold, by Margaret Atwood

hag seed
Image of the book cover found on Google.

I must admit, when I caught sight of this book on the shelf at the library, I snagged it without even reading the cover, simply because I knew I had read Margaret Atwood before and loved it. So I began Hag-Seed without really knowing what I was getting into.

The book is a part of Hogarth Shakespeare, a project I actually hadn’t heard of before. It aims to see Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed modern novelists. The Tempest is the story being retold here, and to be honest, it’s a play I’m not familiar with, but Atwood summarizes it at the end of the book.

The premise of Hag-Seed is that a washed-up play director with a reputation for pushing boundaries gets screwed out of his job by a colleague. He has an epic meltdown, sets his sights on revenge, and then moves to a new town to start over, teaching literacy through theatre (read: Shakespeare) at a local prison. He takes Shakespeare’s plays, and adapts them for his rag-tag group of convicts, letting them take some artistic license, of course. Together they do costumes, set design, and even film the production at the end of the class to be viewed by the other inmates. Of course, the play being done when we are a part of the story is The Tempest. The director is definitely a little bit bonkers, obsessed with his former life and bringing his eccentricities with him to his new one, but it makes for an interesting read to see how everything comes together at the end.

I wouldn’t call it an easy beach read, but I would definitely say it’s worth a try! The beginning dragged a little for me, so don’t put it down when you realize the story doesn’t truly start till a few chapters in. Find it at your local library, and give Hogarth Shakespeare a try! I’d like to find another book from the project, and give it a try, too.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Unexpected But Great

I have been waiting for this book for a million years. Okay, well, I’ve been waiting since the The Deathly Hallows came out for JK Rowling to announce that she had a little more to say. You can imagine I was thrilled when I heard that there was a new part of the story.

I will say that reading a play has always been a little weird for me, so when I realized that the book was actually a script, I was slightly disappointed. I love Rowling’s style, even in The Casual Vacancy, so to hear that this was just her story, and not truly her writing, was a little sad.

That being said, I REALLY enjoyed reading it! Yes, there was an element of the enjoyment that was happiness to be immersed in the wizarding world again. I mean, muggles get me down, ya know? But I actually enjoyed the story and getting a glimpse into the adult lives of Harry and the other characters I’ve loved so well for so long. ((Here are where the spoilers start hopping in there… if you plan to read it but haven’t yet, watch out!)) It was an interesting story and concept that Voldemort had procreated (yikes) so I had to read it in basically one sitting to ease my mind.

I didn’t really like the time travel obsession of the story. I mean, I get the time-turner idea and how they wanted to go back, and then they HAD to go back again to fix things. But it was confusing and convoluted, especially when I wasn’t seeing it, I was just reading a script that was inevitably less detailed than it would’ve been in book form. It also raised questions of “what if?” and “why this?” in several situations. Like, if the Potter’s house was under the Fidelius charm, why could everyone see it when they travelled back? And wasn’t it a little insulting to Cedric’s previously upstanding character to make him have one bad experience and turn to Dark Magic? I always liked Cedric! And Amos seemed old and bitter, but then I guess I understand that losing a child could probably make you crazy.

Anyway, overall, I’d recommend that you read it. Whether you’re a Potterhead or not, you’ll probably enjoy it. I know several people who were disappointed in it, but we all probably had unrealistic expectations, since JK Rowling didn’t actually write this one. It’s a quick read, so you’ve got nothing to lose. I enjoyed it, and plan to read it again once I’ve let my copy circulate through the friends who are borrowing it! If you’ve read it, tell me what you think!

A Toddler’s Wonderland

Recently we’ve been visiting the playground at EK’s preschool she’ll be attending in a couple of weeks. I can’t believe we’re already to the preschool stage, even if it is just two mornings a week.

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Almost everything on the playground is toddler-sized. If she fell off something, she’d be fine. The swings have little belts, and the slides aren’t too tall.

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Don’t worry – I know that swing wouldn’t really hold him in, but I was standing right there.
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First time trying monkey bars! She only swung on this one bar, but she did it repeatedly!

IMG_7254.JPGThat’s an accomplished face on a big girl. Cue the tears from the mama.

 

Is there a neat playground for smaller kids where you are?