Stratford-on-Avon, National Theatre. Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart
Juniper came home and threw her school satchel onto the kitchen floor. She had been behaving a little better since her mother had sent her and her younger brother to Salisbury Plain for a Derren Brown-type Apocalypse experience where they were hypnotised and had to learn altruism instead of going paint-balling as they had thought.
However, her mischievous nature resurfaced as she complained:
Mum, we’re reading a book in school about
bottoms; a woman who bonks a donkey.
They all take drugs, swap partners, sleep.. I shout,
Trendy ideology..a junkie
English teacher! I’m going to complain
about giving teenagers such obscene
reading matter. I’m glad that I refrain;
it dawns on me that Midsummer Night’s Dream
is what she’s referring to. They just lay
on a floral bank, I elucidate,
and fell asleep.
Well, that’s what they all say!
she retorts. She thinks of it as Blind Date
with Bestiality. Maybe her view
of rude mechanicals-(geddit?)-fairies,
is right and critically overdue;
should rank with G Wilson Knight’s, John Carey’s.
This is worse than any poppering pear.
Pyramus, Thisbe should be X-rated.
Bowdlerise Arden, lest it prove a snare.
How can Shakespeare be exonerated?
I turn around; cooly say, Whatever.
I suppose you thought that very clever.