Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Play's the Thing

This blog is a sailing blog.

No. Don't laugh. Really. It is.

I do write about sailing.

Well, sometimes I do.

But this month I've set myself a meaningless challenge, to write a post every day on the topic of "play."

One meaning of the word "play" is a dramatic composition or piece, a dramatic performance, as on the stage.

So I ask myself, "Are there any plays about sailing?"

I can't think of any.

But then I am not very knowledgeable about the theater.

I do know there aren't many good movies about sailing. But there are some. Well, at least one.

But my readers are much smarter than me.

So tell me, are there any good plays about sailing?


harrymvt said...

Does HMS Pinafore qualify? http://bit.ly/KyXrvt

Keep Reaching said...

Shakespeare's description of Cleopatra's rig:

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne
Burned on the water; the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue,
O’erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature. On each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling cupids,
with divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did. [...] Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i’ th’ eyes,
And made their bends adornings. At the helm
A seeming mermaid steers. The silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs.

Baydog said...

Where has KR been all these years?

Pat said...

Interesting article about Eugene O'Neill and the influence of the sea on his life and some of his plays:
"Eugene O'Neill's rare Sea Plays sail back on to the stage"
<< And the ocean is there again in Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956), when Edmund Tyrone, O’Neill’s fictionalised self, describes the ecstasy of lying on the bowsprit of a rigger while it ploughs through the waves: “For a moment, I lost myself – actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky!” >>

Tillerman said...

Nice one KR. I never thought of Antony and Cleopatra as a sailing story before.

Pat - when I Googled this question I came up with what are often known as the Early Plays by Eugene O'Neill. I think they are mainly about life on a freighter (based on his own experiences) but I do like that quotation you found. I 've never seen these plays. Are any of my other readers familiar with them?

Dutchie said...

"The Pirates of Penzance" a Gilbert & Sullivan stage show comes to mind. Not sure if this play qualifies as a "play on sailing" though! Anyway,I did enjoy it.

Tillerman said...

Hi Dutchie. Pirates of Penzance is another good one.

bonnie said...

How about opera? Billy Budd!

bonnie said...

Oh, and there was a play too!

(but the opera still gets done)

Dutchie said...

Mr Tillerman,I love your sailing blog! Glad I found you.

Keep Reaching said...

Since you mentioned movies, there is the scene in the movie Age Of Innocence where Daniel Day-Lewis is about to make a crucial decision depending on a sailboat passing before LimeRock Light.

Theboatfixer said...

The Tempest and of course Peter Pan....

Tillerman said...

Oh yes. I think Peter Pan is the best answer so far!

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