Thursday, April 27, 2006

No hatching or dispatching, but a fair bit of matching this summer ...

O, I have pass'd a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time!
(Richard III 1.4: 2-7)

The mopey-looking fellow in the foreground here is my dear friend Jeremy Worth, playing the doomed Duke of Clarence in the 2000 UWO Summer Shakespeare's production of Richard III. Some of you may remember him from various posts in the comments section of this blog, where he variously goes by Clarence or Jer ... and yes, he is (or his character here) is my cat's namesake. I got the little guy (the cat, not Jer) the summer I directed Richard, and in honour of that remarkable experience decided to name him after one of the characters from the play. I'd narrowed it down to Ratcliff, Catesby or Clarence ... but when I got him, he was a tiny whiny thing, and so Clarence it was.

Jer's responsible for the most oft-repeated phrase of the summer. At the beginning of his most famous speech, quoted above, the "Oh ..." at the start of the first sentence came out in this rolling, sonorous North London (England) timbre, which got affectionately picked up by the rest of the cast. At random intervals, backstage and during rehearsals and, well, any time cast members were together, you could pretty much guarantee hearing an "Aaaoooooooohhh ..." with a pronounced downward intonation pronounced by someone in the cast or crew. It's still sort of like a secret handshake for anyone who'd been in the show.

Anyway ... two big pieces of news down Jeremy-way! First, the little guy with the huge voice is getting married this summer. AND, he's been hired into a tenure-track position by the Department of French at the University of Windsor. So a great huge congratulations and shout-out from me & my blog.

ALSO ... on Canada Day, I just found out, yet another good friend of mine it tying the knot -- the tiny & perfect Emylene Aspilla, with whom I went through my undergrad at York with, is marrying her longtime boyfriend Roach (yes, Roach -- much tidier and better-looking than the name suggests). They've been living in SanFran these past few years, so it will be lovely to see them both before, on and after their big day.

Yet more evidence that we're all ostensibly growing up. Disturbing.


Anonymous said...

I am honoured, my friend. I would like to point out to your public, however, that it was only in character in Dick Three that I was a tiny, whiny thing (in spite of any impression to the contrary that my posted comments may have given). In real life I'm a huge beery thing. And, I hope, better made to court an am'rous looking glass than the sweating lord in the picture.
That play, one of Dr L's many triumphs, was a joy to be involved in.

Chris in NF said...

To my readers:

Yes, it's true: I do Jer a misservice to refer to him as a "tiny, whiny thing." That was his character, certainly, though only in the instances when he was imprisoned in the tower and later being beaten up and murdered by a female assassin.

"Huge and beery?" Only too true. In fact, outside of his role as the diminutive Clarence, the descriptives "yob" and "hooligan" are frequently tossed about, though noly once he is out of earshot for fear of Vinny Jones-style retribution.

Lesley said...

Congrats to jer on his many triumphs. And now that I know he will be gracing our dear Windsor with his talents, I'm hoping he will not hold my tenure bitching against me. U of W will be better with his addition.

P.S. I think Clarence is a perfectly respectable name for a cat.

amy said...

just in regards to your last (and apparantly incredibly divisive entry) thought I should add that everyone is focusing so much on teaching as the only work profs do. It only counts for 40% where I am, and I think that's pretty normal. There does need to be some sort of security as recognition for the really incredible workload and years of preparation.

Anonymous said...

I think that point was made Amy - but it's very true and worth making again.

Chris - before his screen career, Vinnie Jones played for Watford FC. I was born in the hospital next to the Watford FC ground on Vicarage Road, so I do indeed have a Vinnie Jones factor...but I must admit that's really as far as it goes (in case anyone gets the impression from all this (or from the photo) of a sort of Baldrickesque figure - or if I sounded to Lesley like a chattering, vitriolic hobgoblin of the Alexander Pope variety - I am 5'8.5" and 180 lbs, though!).

Lesley - thank you for the kind words, and based on the experiences you mention, I do understand where you were coming from in the tenure debate! Well made points - I just happen to think that they miss the big picture.

Anonymous said...

PS. I meant that the teaching as 40% of a workload bit in Amy's message was very true and worth reiterating - I wasn't meaning to say any more about her last sentence and have the last word on today's burning issue! :)

Lesley said...

I'm going to let it go...hopefully everyone else can as well.

Good luck on stage!

Obscurium said...

Minor correction - Vinny Jones was born in Watford but never played for Watford FC. Very entertaining blog though - good show!