Friday, February 24, 2006

A Fly On The Wall: Sylvia Part II

Saw Edge. Mixed feelings. I think Angelica Torn did a great job, vocally and physically embodying Sylvia Plath but the script was a bit hysterical and over the top.

It was very tough on Ted Hughes - a far from perfect individual...but the play was heavy handed in its portrayal of him. They both treated each other badly and yes, Hughes had an affair, but I don't believe he killed Plath. I think she was on that trajectory for a number of years. I guess I was looking for more balance, more poetry.

In the last week of Plath's life, she had a terrible cold so when Angelica came on stage, bleary eyed, puffy and sniffling, I thought wow, she's really getting into this role...turns out she had a bad cold. Oops.

She also had to put up with two very large blow flies circling the stage. Every now and then, one would land on her arm or head. She read her lines flawlessly while waving her arm around or wildly batting at the fly! I was in the front row and it became a bit distracting...

But in the end, I'm glad I saw it. I know when some people hear her name they think, yawn...crazy woman who put her head in the oven...but there's so much more to her as a poet, woman, mother, wife and lover.
There are reasons why history refuses to let her go.


Gina said...

You are absolutely right, she is without question, a voice, a powerful, depth defying voice.

SharonL said...

I agree that Plath was likely on the path to suicide for a very long time, but given that Hughes' girlfriend, Assia Wevill, also killed herself (and her daughter) - well it makes me wonder about Ted Hughes.

I loved Sylvia Plath's poetry in my 20s but now I probably wouldn't have the patience for it. I'll have to dig out my collected poems and give them a read.

Have you ever read the Bell Jar or the book (can't recall the title) of Plath's letters?

Sorry for rambling but thanks for bring Plath back to me!


herhimnbryn said...

Agree with your thoughts on Plath. It's great to find another blogger who enjoys poetry. And Larkin too ( see my 'Buttons" post?).
Like your blog and have bookmarked you. Thankyou for your commenton my blog too.

herhimnbryn said...

Thankyou for your comment on my blog.
Best wishes from WA

Shannon said...

You've inspired me to search the bookshelf for The Belljar & Arial for a re-visit. I cant believe I gave Ariel to my partner for his birthday when I first met him!! How pretentious, very uni-student and unknowing, especially now after nearly 10 years he reads thrillers and blockbusters!!

Some Books I've Really Enjoyed

  • Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros
  • Saturday by Ian McEwan
  • Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life by Andrew Motion
  • The Bell Jar by Syliva Plath
  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
  • Stasiland by Anna Funder

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