Friday, November 12, 2021

Zadie be good

 Off to the Kiln Theatre yesterday evening for, what I thought was, the first night of The Wife of Willesden; a modern take by Zadie Smith on Chaucer's Wife of Bath. (I can't seem to see any reviews this morning though.)

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, but I think I would have got more from it if I knew the Wife of Bath better. That fault, it must be said, is to be laid at my door rather than that of the estimable Ms Smith.

Let's think, I have been following Zadie Smith since her debut novel White Teeth published (what?) twenty years ago. When Kara was very little, Sophie and Raph asked us to give her books to be read when she was 18 as birthday presents rather than ephemera. (She is still a long way from eighteen.) A Zadie Smith volume was delivered from me. I bought her collection of essays, Intimations, from Audible during lockdown. She read it herself and the cadence (not the accent) of her voice was different to the one I imagine when I read her. An interesting take on "authenticity" and the perception thereof.

We pre-ordered pre-show drinks (there was no interval) and I left my cap on the table where we drank them. The Kiln's staff rescued it when they were re-arranging the room for the after show party; it was graciously and efficiently returned when I asked after it. That is worth a five star review on its own.

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