I consider myself fairly lowbrow when it comes to culture. I like mainstream cinema films, boxsets and any concerts or theatre productions taking place outdoors. But I am also of the opinion that when it comes to culture, we should try everything once.
Which is how I came to be sitting on a picnic rug in Trafalgar Square on a school night on my annual trip to London with The Teenager. We were waiting for the live screening of La Traviata from the Royal Opera House. I have tried opera and found it is not my thing but, in the spirit of trying anything once, had persuaded The Teenager that a free screening was just the ticket to see if it might be her thing.
Bearing in mind this is a teenager whose idea of a good gig is Drake or Catfish And The Bottlemen, we gave it a good go. Sitting in the sunshine with a picnic was no hardship, but we soon realised her culture threshold is as low as mine.
Here’s the thing, though. I have realised we are exactly the types of people targeted by those seeking to make formerly elitist cultural experiences more accessible.
— Shakespeare's Globe (@The_Globe) July 8, 2017
The other cultural event we had planned for the trip was our annual pilgrimage to The Globe for a shot of Shakespeare (The Teenager’s choice: up there with Love Island, as far as she’s concerned). I have to confess, this outing often leaves me baffled and The Teenager has got used to patiently explaining the ins and outs of the plot to me.
But this time? Twelfth Night. Featuring a gold sequin-covered drag queen as Feste and the entire cast camping it up in a disco extravaganza, kicking off with We Are Family? Bring it on. I have never enjoyed the bard so much.
I usually come back from that there London Town thinking fondly of a curry in Brick Lane or a cocktail at Camden Lock but this time the highlight was Shakespeare. Who’d have thought it?
If this is dumbing down, count me in.