Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shakespeare in a Junk Shop

So, I've already mentioned my soft spot for second-hand bookshops.  This also translates to junk shops in general, in spite of the allergy-inducing effects of the dust which usually permeates such places.  To clarify, I don't care for moth-eaten table-cloths, and I find half-used bottles of lotion and great-aunt-Ethel's perfume to be quite frankly disturbing, but if one can look past such things one can sometimes find hidden gems.  For me these gems generally come in the shape of something that can be made into something else, however, yesterday I had the good luck to come across an old VHS copy of Richard III, with Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith, and a number of other quality names.  Personally, when I see the names William Shakespeare and Ian McKellen combined like that, I snatch, regardless of whether I've heard anything of the performance before.  In any case, I took it up to the counter, and this was the ensuing conversation.  I shall put my thoughts in bold italics.

Woman at counter: "Oh, I saw this when it came in.  Thought it was Shakespeare, then turned it over and saw it was a remake."

Technically, any of Shakespeare's plays performed after 1616 could be called a remake, but I'll assume you're referring to the fact that they set it in the 1930s.

Me, aloud: "Hm."

Woman at counter (shaking her head): "Yeah, I don't know.  It's weird."

You're weird!

Me, aloud: "Sometimes I like the updated versions, depending on who performs them.  I've never heard of this one, but the cast looks good."

Woman at counter (with a cackle and another shake of the head as I'm walking away): "Well, you know, even William Shatner was a trained Shakespearean actor."

I give up!

Afterwards I recalled that it was the same woman who, when my sister bought a book, said that she'd started trying to read it, but the tone was "too British".  Ha!

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