Giraffes, Bobs, Death

I often find that a trip, or a weekend, or a day, has a theme. Our recent trip up to Ashland had three. One was obvious from the start. Our primary goal for the weekend was to see Dead Man’s Cell Phone. We had to go up early because it closes this month and so we can’t go in August when we head up for our usual yearly trip. And while we were up there, we might as well get in as much theatre as is humanly possible. To that end, we also saw Death and the King’s Horseman; I felt it would be good to get some exposure to Wole Soyinka’s work. And Servant of Two Masters, which is Commedia del Arte, which I was curious to see how the Oregon Shakespeare Festival would do. The death in the first two is obvious, and the key to the third is the knowledge that one of the two masters is masquerading as a dead man.

This much we knew when we headed up north. And then we saw Dead Man’s Cell Phone. In a key scene in this production, a twelve-foot-tall giraffe is wheeled onto the stage. Somewhat startling, even to someone who has read the script. And then there were some rough-cut wooden giraffes in the window of the Renaissance Rose, a pair of really lovely ones with spiderwebs in their horns at Travel Essentials. A sign for the Blue Giraffe day spa. A stuffed riding giraffe at my aunt’s house.

And then we went out to my aunt’s ranch for a visit. She adopted a dog and cat who survived Katrina, both named Bob. (They’ve been immortalized in a book Two Bobbies.) She also has a new cat, with his own very complicated story. Also named Bob. And when we went over to visit her and her menagerie we met a friend of hers hanging out, also named Bob. That evening, we saw Death and the King’s Horseman, which we swear (though he’s not listed by name in the character list) has a character named Bob.

So themes. Unlike other themes that are more broadly-writ, I have no idea what these mean.


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