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Showing posts from September, 2012

Wild Oats

I went to see Wild Oats by John O’Keefe at Bristol Old Vic last night (17 September 2012). It was a real treat to be back in the Old Vic after its refurbishment. It now has a “pit” instead of stalls, but the seats are new and much more comfortable than the old ones, and in place of the dusty carpet there's an oak floor. The painted and gilded theatre looks lovely, and the names of many great actors and playwrights lettered on the walls – Cibber, Vanbrugh, Shakespeare, Steele – evokes its great heritage. The design is based on the eighteenth-century configuration of the theatre – balconies, colours, stage – but is fully modern too. So its inaugural production is a modern reworking of the 1791 play by John O’Keefe. Wild Oats was written by Irish playwright John O’Keefe (1747 – 1833). Originally an artist, O’Keefe became a writer when his eye sight began to fail. He was blind by 1781. He left Ireland and his unfaithful wife in 1781, and during his writing career produced farces,