Category Archives: culture

Pokemon GO

When my daughter was about 6 we spent a few months playing Pokemon Diamond on her Nintendo DS. It was a really good game, she could progress, didn’t get frustrated, we worked on strategies together, etc. So, when she came round tonight we downloaded Pokemon GO. I won’t go into all the issues and stories that are going around. It was quite fun to see a Pokemon in the real world. But I think it’ll wear off quickly for me. It’s a long complex game and I don’t want to be wandering around doing this. But I did think if there was a whodunnit or crime noir one where you had to find clues around your neighbourhood, that would be quite fun.

Bragging about Hay

Daughter and I went to the Hay Festival today. We saw Jim Baggott talk about science of creation and then Billy Bragg in conversation (he sang a few songs as well). Bragg was very engaging, and afterwards chatted for ages with people queuing to get his book signed ([url=https://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2116638178495432160]I have a signed copy[/url] already of course)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Daughter and I went to see this at the New Theatre tonight. It was fantastic, really funny. Not ‘oh look aren’t we smart laughing knowingly at Shakespeare” funny, but genuinely laugh out loud funny. Daughter loved it. I wonder what current comedy will still be as good 400 years hence?

We few, we happy few

I took my daughter to see her first Shakespeare play on Saturday: The Globe Theatre’s production of [url=http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/theatre/on-tour/henry-v]Henry V[/url] at [url=http://www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk/]The New Theatre[/url].
She enjoyed it, (despite being the youngest person there) slightly to my surprise, although there were large chunks she didn’t understand. But there was enough action, and in this production anyway, comedy to keep her interested. It’s not a perfect play – I was aware for instance that unless you’ve read Henry IV you don’t know who this John Falstaff is that they’re mourning or why that’s significant. It also doesn’t know how to end, at least to modern sensibilities anyway. It should end on the field of Agincourt (or have a brief wrapping up scene), but drags on for another 40 minutes or so with the rather superfluous leak eating scene, then marriage.
But it does contain two of the most rousing speeches ever written, firstly the Once more unto the breach one at Harfleur, and then the St Crispin’s Day speech before the big battle at Agincourt. These have become rather over-used in war and modern sporting events (and adverts even), but I think there is something more subtle about the St Crispin’s day speech. Shakespeare captures the feeling of achievement when you realise something substantial with a small group of people, against the odds. Being successful with a large, formal project group is all well and good, but there is a sense of having done something extraordinary with a small group. As Harry puts it “I pray thee, wish not one man more”