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Butcombe Original

Butcombe Original. In the Strat. A substitute image, as the one of a rather dismal carton type cup of filter coffee in the Playhouse has chosen to slip away into the ether.

The Playhouse because I went to see an adaption of Henrik Ibsen's "Enemy of the people".

The play had been updated to included all the contemporary tropes which I assume are now de rigueur. Black children of white parents, the chief protagonist, the doctors sons and the editor, transmogrified into women (if its not too binary to say so). Sexual harassment by a lesbian editor trying to leverage the power of her role in order to obtain sexual favours (two for the price of one there) and the liberal use of the ‘f’ word.

"I thought" said Max, "that you didn't know the meaning of the word ‘trope’?"

"I'm still nor sure I do but I thought I should throw it in in order to sound relevant."

"Then" said Max, "you can hardly blame Ms. Lenkiewicz for doing much the same thing".

"Well I suppose... but did you notice that there is no mention of Ibsen on the flyer"

"No" said Max, "I think you may have neglected to show me the flyer but presumably for the young, Lenkiewicz is a bigger draw than Ibsen and for the more elderly theatre goer, such as yourself, the assumption of authorship is made on the basis of the title, which incidently I don't think you have quite right".

I ignored Max's nit picking in favour of checking later when he wasn't around.

"I heard an adaptation of the play on the radio the other day which I believe was closer to the original text and although I wasn't paying full attention, I think on balance I preferred it to Ms. Lenkiewicz's efforts. Call me old fashioned ..."

"You are old fashioned." interjected Max.

"That as may be Max but you didn't see the play."

"But I did pay attention to the radio four production and I think it is possible that you are not only old fashioned but also ignorant of Ibsen's major concerns at the time. Besides which, as the original was was in Norwegian, I doubt if you have much idea at all of what was in the original text."

"Surely", I said, ignoring Max's jibe about my ignorance of languages, "the mark of a great play is that no alteration of the text is required to make it resonate with a modern audience? Any gaps in in our understanding are filled by the artifice of the Director. And anyway, what Max, do you know of Ibsen's major themes?"

"Only what I have read on Wikipedia"

"Give me a break Max, you can't read and you can't operate a web browser."

"I admit to certain limitations in the use of modern technology but you have no evidence at all that I cannot read and it is, in any case, irrelevant because you can" said Max, "and as I'm not actually with you on this occasion, I can only assume that this conversation is largely an artificial construction built from your imagination."

"Enough Max, you will undermine the peoples faith in the veracity of these posts."

"Veracity my eye." said Max, "I suggest that in the absence of my corporeal being in the pub, you snaffle a couple of dog treats anyway and bring them home with you."


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