She Stoops to Conquer – Two Reviews

Last night, we went to The Abbey Theatre and treated ourselves to yet another exceptional performance. This time, we saw ‘She Stoops to Conquer’. It was magnificent with all the hallmarks we’ve come to expect of an Abbey production; sumptuous costumes, magnificent sets and clever direction as well as hard-working actors plying their craft.

But never mind what I thought of it. My girls have written reviews and I’ve published them here (with their permission):

Review of “She Stoops To Conquer” 3/1/2015 by Kashmira Larkin

Yesterday, in the Abbey Theatre (the national theatre of Ireland), I saw “She Stoops To Conquer” by Oliver Goldsmith.

It was basically a comedy about a woman named Kate in rural Ireland, whose father wanted her to be married to a man called Mr. Marlow from Dublin. She is excited at this idea, but he is shy of upper class women, so she pretends that she is a maid when her half brother Tony fools him into thinking that their home is an inn.

In the end he does find out that she is the women he was supposed to go and marry and they become engaged. There was also something else going on, because Mr. Hastings, a friend of Mr. Marlow, planned on marrying Kate’s friend, Constance. They wanted to run away to France and get married. But, Tony’s mother has other ideas and wants Constance and Tony to be married to keep Constance’s inheritance (jewels) in the family.

I really enjoyed this play and it is the funniest one I have ever seen in the Abbey. All the actors were brilliant, but I think the best actor was Caroline Morahan (who played Kate), and all her facial expressions made me laugh (especially at the end when he found out who she was). There were a couple of unnecessary scenes, and I think the jewel saga dragged on for a bit too long. The stage was set up very well, the whole time it fet like I was sitting in the mansion watching things play out. I loved the music in it as well, it was like a panto for aduts!! It was, overall, a great play, and I would happily go again.

On the 2/1/15 we went to see She Stoops To Conquer (a play written by Oliver Goldsmith) in The Abbey Theatre.

The stage was set up extremely well, it was like we were actually in a mansion in the middle of the countryside. I can’t begin to imagine how much time and work goes into dressing the stage up.

The actors gave an outstanding performance, each character really showed how passionate they are about playing their character. It seemed as if the actors were actually the characters they played their whole lives and they weren’t acting. They definitely put a lot of work into practising everything and making sure they had everything spot on, and they did an amazing job.

Kate gave an especially outstanding performance, she definitely showed that she loved being on stage and that she spent such a long time practising her part. She’s such an amazing actor, she didn’t bluff once, I couldn’t have asked for a better actor to play her part!

This play was absolutely hilarious, I’m pretty sure everyone in the auditorium roared out laughing! I think that the actors made the play funnier by the way they acted their parts. I don’t have anything bad to say about the performance.

I definitely recommend that you go to see the play because it’s just brilliant for all ages and my family and I had a great night. She Stoops to Conquer is definitely a play I’d love to see again.

Pulling the Curtains on a Dilemma

So, the news in Dublin today is that a lady left a pair of curtains into a charity shop, and sewn into them was a wad of cash. Honest workers at the shop are desperately trying to re-unite the lady who donated the curtains with her money.

 

Hearing this news, I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d do if I bought a pair of curtains in a charity shop that then turned out to have a large amount of money sewn into them. I would like to tell you that I am so scrupulously honest I’d return the money to the shop in question. But the truth is, I’m not so sure.

I think it would depend on how much money the ‘find’ contained. If it was just €50 I might keep it. Or I might not. I might be more likely to return it – €50 isn’t a life-changing amount and it would make me feel good about myself if I went back to the shop with it. On the other hand, €50 is enough to make a difference to my weekly budget and would buy a few things my girls need. So I might hang on to it.

 

Then again, a larger amount – say €1,000 and above – is a significant sum to me and would make a huge difference right now. And I could easily convince myself that I was predestined to stumble upon the money; that finding the cash in the curtains was the same thing – more or less – as buying a winning lottery ticket. I would agonise over what the right thing to do was.

 

That said, I am the type of person who, if given too much change in a shop will hand back the extra. I’ve also been known to point out omissions on restaurant bills and tell suppliers when their goods turn up after they have refunded me for items that we thought were lost in the post.

 

The difference is that in those instances,  I don’t feel morally entitled to keep the money. It doesn’t feel legally right, either. But the money-in-the-curtains thing? Well, if  the money legally came into my possession, would it morally be mine? Would it be okay to keep it?

What would you do?

Mind Yourself

My girls were three minutes late for school this morning. It was my fault entirely;  I had them out late last night – at  The Sugar Club, a nightclub in Dublin. Even though it was a school night, I made the decision to bring them because I thought the event was important enough for my duaghters to witness it first-hand. The event in question was the launch of See Change‘s Make A Ripple campaign.

Make A Ripple is the joint effort of 45 individual bodies concerned with mental health. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about mental health, mental ill-health and to remove the stigma associated with mental health difficulties. Two very brave women – Barbara Brennan and Caroline McGuigan –  spoke about their own experiences with mental health problems and their brushes with suicide.

Mental health is as much a part of who people are as their physical health – in fact, the two are inextricably linked. I felt it was important for my children – aged 7 and 9 – to be at an event where mental health and difficulties with mental health were spoken about openly and without shame. At their ages, I wanted my children to be aware of that. I wanted them to know that if they ever had a difficulty that they could speak about it – and that by keeping it to themselves they would be making it worse.

We spoke about mental health on the drive home. My girls understood what Barbara and Caroline  had meant when they spoke about their difficulties. They understood that it  was important to talk about pain and difficulty – whether that pain was physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

Coming away from the launch last night, I had a very strong feeling that mental health awareness needs to be taught in primary schools across Ireland. If we are going to remove the stigma associated with mental (ill)health and see a decrease in the number of suicides and attempted-suicides in this country, then we need to start with children as young as five and six.  Those children are our future, we need to make sure theirs is a bright one.