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VocalEye Virtual Presentations - Wise Children

Cover of the first edition of the novel Wise Children, by Angela CarterThe virtual Watch Party took place on July 29, 2020.

It has frustrated me over the past two weeks as to why I've procrastinated writing this review. Is it because I'm not a fan of British farce? Is it that the novel promises salacious depths I could not find in the theatrical production?

Whatever the case, the National Theatre's production of Wise Children, based on the novel by Angela Carter, wasn't my cup of tea.

As I always do during these virtual theatre watch parties hosted by VocalEye Descriptive Arts, I am engaged by the pre-show character and costume details supplied by our describer, Eileen. I find it hilarious that a bodysuit replete with boobs and wiry pubic hair would be used for scenes with nudity. I enjoy the gaudy glamour of the carnival performers and their overdone acrobatics.

It is Eileen's passion for the story that makes me want to read the novel.

The acting, sound and set design, as I've come to expect from London's National Theatre, are superb.

Perhaps it's the manner in which the story is presented that leaves me dissatisfied.

I crave more drama and less comedy, I suppose.

I mean, it's a story about adultery and family loyalty.

How many of us are caught between the family we're saddled with and the family that welcomes us with open arms?

I know the refrain throughout the play is "What a joy it is to dance and sing" and I know it is the theatre that grants Nora and Dora Chance their freedom and independence.

Sometimes, though, you don't want to dance and sing.

Sometimes you want to scream and throw things.

But all you can do is step back and hope things will get better, I guess.

Maybe the next VocalEye Watch Party will be more my thing.

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