The Ikea on the River
Yesterday there was a matinee of Christmas Carol and the hub was filled with people dressed as Dickensian orphan children checking their facebook pages.
And that's just one of many surreal moment to come as I embark on my six month internship in the literary department of the Guthrie Theater. I'm about four days in and so far so good. I'm eager to see how this massive operation functions and secretly most excited about the comp tickets. Most of the work so far has been playing footnote tag between editions of Henry V and learning lots of ways to deprecate the French.
So far, my favorite dramaturgical tidbit involves not good King Harry, but his overseas counterpart, the King of France. Although overshadowed in the play by the Dauphin (who's actually a combination of three different dauphins, as they kept dying off during the campaign), King Charles VI or, wait for it, "Charles the Mad" is just obscenely fascinating.
After someone attempted to kill a close friend of his, he began having fits of, well, madness. He sometimes didn't recognize his wife or family, tried to kill his chamberlains when spooked by loud noises, thought his name was George from time to time. He also went through periods where he believed he was made of glass and would not let anyone touch him and he'd try to protect himself so he wouldn't break.
He was also, of course a party animal, and at a ball thrown by the Queen, he and some other Lords dressed as wild men in shaggy hemp costumes. Because of the clear fire hazard this posed in a pre-electric castle, the torch bearers were placed at the far ends of the room. Then the King's brother, who clearly took after him, burst in fashionably late, grabbed a torch and ran up to the dancers to try and see who they were.
Needless to say,it was a hot time in the old town that night.
I actually prefer the other miniature, below because the musicians are still playing, everyone looks so very unimpressed, and the little yappy dog is just making everything worse.
Stupid yappy dog.
Anyway, as everyone was running around on fire, one quick thinking duchess did what any good French aristocrat of the time would do and threw her skirt over one of the dancers, ostensibly to smother the flames.
The man she saved? King Charles VI. Four of the other lords died (oops). And the event is known as Le Bal des Ardents or "Ball of the Burning Men."
Dude. You can't make this stuff up. Hooray for research!