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Performance of “The Wife of Willesden”

January 11: We met for class today, and Gabe facilitated a discussion of Best of Enemies, by James Graham. Most students expressed mixed feelings about the play--although they seemed to agree that the performances were strong and the stage set helped to place the 1968 Buckley vs. Vidal debates in context.  

Later the same day we took the tube from Queensway to Kilburn on the Jubilee line to see a performance of The Wife of Willesden, a play by Zadie Smith based upon Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath" from the Canterbury Tales. The play was performed at The Kiln Theater, a more intimate venue than the Noel Coward Theater where we saw Best of EnemiesThe Wife of Willesden is a modernized version of Chaucer's work that preserves the spirit of the original. The central character of this version of the tale, Alvita, provocatively recounts the details of her five marriages, about which she has few regrets. Although the origins of the tale date back to the 14th century, many of its underlying themes still resonate.

Students sitting at long table having a discussion.

Gabe facilitating an in-class discussion of Best of Enemies

Study abroad group posing for photo with poster of the Wife of Willeden in front of them.

Group pictured outside the Kiln Theater after a performance of The Wife of Willesden.

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