22 Aug 2012

A School for Wives

A woman is like a Pizza Supreme that another bloke is looking at.
She’s part Prawn, Bacon and Feta, part Satay Veg, part Pepperoni,
She’s Meatlovers’ Special and Chicken Monaco, though in his case, she’s Create-Your-Own- i.
But if another man steals the tiniest bite, if it’s just half an olive he’s got,
The jealous man becomes a Fire Breather, ’cause he thinks he’ll eat The Lot.
That Bell Shakespeare's A School for Wives is modernised is evident by Alain's speech on the jealousy of men above. The original says something like this:
Tell me, is it not true that, when you have your broth in your hand, and some hungry person comes up to eat it, you would be in a rage, and be ready to beat him? It is just the same. Woman is in fact the broth of man; and when a man sees other folks sometimes, trying to dip their fingers in his broth, he soon displays extreme anger at it.
Despite the modernisation, however, I am excited to be introducing Molière's wonderful form of comic farce to Jemimah with Bell's production of the play later this term.

The highly amusing play is the story of a man, Arnolphe, who is concerned that if he marries, his wife will be unfaithful to him and leave him for someone else.  To fix this he decides to have his young innocent ward, Agnès, sent to a convent to be raised until she is 18 and marriageable age.  His plan is to raise Agnès so that she will be too ignorant to be unfaithful to him.  Of course his plans go terribly awry the moment young Agnès sets her eyes upon Horace, and the two fall truly, madly, deeply in lurve...

We've been studying the play this term in lieu of Shakespeare in AO5.  Today we read a synopsis, as well as reading through some of the more famous quotes from each of the characters.  Next week we'll read a child friendly bio of Molière's life. Later we'll read the play together as we do with Shakespeare.

The highlight, of course, will be the production itself.  Smart clothes, a meal out at The Art Centre, a packet of Malteasers at Interval, the evening will be a real Special Occasion.  I'm sure, quite sure, that Molière will become a family favourite just like Shakespeare has, and this production will be one of the highlights of our year.  Contented sigh.
If you haven't yet taken your kids to a production like this, then do consider it.  Shakespeare - and Molière - on the stage are just super.

Do you have wonderful experiences of the theatre in your family too?


  1. Totally, totally agree with taking kids to things like this. B was the only kid in her English class who'd ever been to a non-school play. She rode that "high" for days and still remembers the fun we had.

  2. You know we haven't yet been to the theatre with rebekah. It's up there on my to do list! I'd love to take her to see a shakespeare play.


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