Of Shakespeare and baboons

Alexander McCall Smith, whom I wrote about recently, has started up The No. 1. Opera House project in a small, converted garage just outside Gaborone, Botswana. This tiny garage is a restaurant by day and an opera house by night. A full house is 60 seats.

The first opera will have its premiere there in October of this year and it is called The Okavango Macbeth. Apparently, the opera explores the themes of Macbeth set amongst a colony of baboons.

baboonfight1That must be Lady Macbeth on the left! Photo taken by Max Waugh

Perhaps with their clear social hierarchies, they too have Lady Macbeth issues!

Or maybe it’s just a case of monkey business?

Actually, I love the idea of having classics in new settings…

How about Romeo and Juliet, with their families fighting like  … well … cats and dogs?

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

And what about Othello? Green with jealousy over his beloved Desdemona – set among chameleons?


Jealous Othello

And, of course, we mustn’t forget this passionate couple…

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra

… Antony and Cleopatra!

You know what? The phone’s ringing off the hook (I’ve often wondered about this expression. I mean, if it’s off the hook, then it can’t ring. But I digress…) and my house is surrounded by movie moguls who want to buy the rights to my idea. They’re stampeding like wild elephants.


I only hope they give me an offer that is ‘herd’ to resist.

32 thoughts on “Of Shakespeare and baboons

  1. I have heard about the Swedish midsummer madness….now we know what it is like!! However, you haven’t changed much over the 45 years I’ve known you so maybe …….
    In Darwin they call it the Mango season, as that is when it is the most humid (when mangoes are ripe) and people start acting like it’s a full moon!!


  2. I always thought that the saying “ringing off the hook” meant that the phone was ringing so hard it leapt off the hook… now my cell phone just vibrates off the nightstand. Did I just coin a new phrase or am I also going off my rocker… off the deep end… out of my mind?


  3. I’m a huge fan of Alexander McCall Smith, and that idea is intriguing! Also, it mentions that he is part of the RTO (really terrible orchestra) on his book jackets-another interesting idea.


  4. Hahaha brilliant post. But is this opera house for real? I feel tempted to go live at the back end of Gaberone, at the end of time… watching baboons do Shakespeare.


    1. Yes, the opera house is for real and is the opera… It opens soon. I’d love to go and see it too!

      The rest is just a figment of my overactive imagination, though…


  5. I guess there’s a lot of work in putting the phone BACK on the hook after it rings off–almost as much as you put into your ‘productions’! Great post.


I love reading your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.