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Benedict Cumberbatch, Mangoes, and Sherlock

Back on October 15th, I got to see Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch along with 225,000 other people.  They broadcasted that night’s theater performance into 2000 theaters around the world.  I obviously didn’t jet out to London for a date night.

I mean, I wish I had the means to jet out to London for a date night, but… you know… life.

So I saw it in a totally swank theater that did not have assigned seats.  I had an assigned seat scare when we walked into the theater, but it turned out that you could sit wherever you wished.  They had huge, reclining armchairs, and Josh bought me some Twizzlers, so it was even better than normal theater.

I bet you’re thinking right now, that sounds amazing, Mel.  And it was.  Benedict Cumberbatch was the best Hamlet I’ve seen, hands down. He captured the sad, biting humour in the role, which is so often glossed over. I didn’t agree with the Ophelia direction — the actress was great, I just thought the choices they made with her didn’t reflect the text (of which they cut a few, key lines). I actually didn’t agree with any of the line changes, but that’s neither here nor there. The set was stunning, especially the end of the first part when the black… rubbish blew in.

So yeah, it was a fantastic night. And I really wish they’d release a DVD version because I’d love to see it again, but I believe it was a one-time deal, like so many televised-performance events. Womp-womp.


Back in 1995, I was kneeling in the stacks in the library when I glanced at a folktale pamphlet and put it back on the shelf. About a year later, I saw a mango and it reminded me of the story I read as I thumbed through the folktale pamphlet. Something about the last two fruits that didn’t have a name. One was the mango, and its name came from the character in the story getting the instruction, “Man, go and…” And what? The second part of the instruction was the name of the other fruit.

“Man, go and papaya.”

That didn’t make sense.

“Man, go and coconut.”

I went through every mango-friendly fruit out there. But I couldn’t turn any other fruit name into a pun like how mango neatly became “Man, go…”

I thought about this EVERY SINGLE TIME I went into the produce section of a grocery store. So let’s say three times a week since 1995. I would test out all the things I saw in the sentence. The closest I ever came to a fit was mango and endive (yes, I’m aware those two things don’t go together): “Man, go and dive.”

So it didn’t really fit.

I Google the story all the time and usually never get a hit, but this week, the story was uploaded to Google Books! The story I read in the library back in 1995. And the other fruit? Orange. “Man, go and arrange” is the sentence (say it aloud), and that is how the last two fruits, mango and orange, got their name.

Sweet freakin’ relief.


Back to Benedict Cumberbatch since this post is all over the place. The upcoming Sherlock Holmes Christmas special is going to be aired in the theaters, too.

I don’t know how I feel about that: going to the movie theater to see something that I can see at home. I guess if I couldn’t see it at home, that would be one thing. But I can, so it sort of begs the question: why go see it around a bunch of strangers?

I don’t really enjoy seeing things around a bunch of strangers. If I could have seen Hamlet from my home, I would have watched Hamlet in my home.

But I love the Christmas specials; especially Doctor Who. I feel like winter vacation is this television orgasm with 3000 things all aired at once.

Side note: Tomorrow is #MicroblogMonday. Get writing!


1 a { 10.25.15 at 10:32 am }

Hmm – thought I saw that PBS will be airing the Sherlock special on Jan 1… Maybe you can see it from the comfort of your home.

2 loribeth { 10.25.15 at 6:01 pm }

I also understood that PBS will be airing the Sherlock special. Fingers crossed, because I will be dying to see it. 🙂

By the way, dh & I went to see “Steve Jobs” this afternoon (with Michael Fassbender in the title role). Really well done & I think factually pretty accurate, although whether he actually had those specific conversations at those times & in those places is debatable. 😉 I thought of you & Wolvog throughout. 🙂 The fact that he was adopted was part of the movie.

3 Orodemniades { 10.25.15 at 6:31 pm }

OMG totally agree with you on Hamlet. Did not care for the cutting of and additions to lines. Thought Ciaran Hinds, much as it kills me to say it, was the wrong actor. I think poor the actress who played Ophelia went from 11 to 12 in the dramatics, leaving herself no heights of madness to reach, if you know what i mean? Didn’t care for Laertes, either. Ultimately I didn’t care for the direction of it, which is a shame, because Benedict and some of the actors were fucking fantastic. I won’t say I’m disappointed, but I do feel the direction was not…great.

4 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.25.15 at 8:09 pm }

Orange! I’m glad you ran across that again.

Did you ever figure out the song? I’m heading back to check.

5 Turia { 10.25.15 at 8:20 pm }

I saw a version of the Tempest at the movie theatre once. It can really work well and I love the idea of making such performances more accessible.

I think that fruit story gets bogged down by accents, or at least I cannot make ‘arrange’ sound like ‘orange’ no matter what I do.

I love the UK TV Christmas specials, except that it is ALWAYS snowing in them. And it just doesn’t snow like that in the UK at Christmas. It really doesn’t, 99.9% of the time. So every time Q. and I shriek at the television and it detracts from the show for a moment, and then we continue.

6 Heather { 10.26.15 at 3:07 am }

That’s so funny that the fruit thing bothered you all those years and now you finally have your answer. 🙂

7 Charlotte { 10.26.15 at 7:52 am }

I love your Mango story story. I have had things over the years that have bothered me to no end that I sweating remember reading before the grand old Internet was how it is now. I was able to find a couple things after persistent googling as well.

8 deathstar { 10.26.15 at 12:50 pm }

If you say “Man, go and dive!” in a Jamaican accent, it totally makes sense!

9 Kasey { 10.27.15 at 2:01 pm }

Your Mango and Orange makes me think of the poem I found after years. This also makes me think never give up on searching especialy on the Internet since new information is constantly being added.

10 Reader { 10.28.15 at 6:32 pm }

The “Man go arrange” story works for you East Coasters who pronounce the beginning of orange like “are” but not for those of us from the Midwest who pronounce it like “or” 🙂 Vive linguistic diversity!

11 Jamie { 10.29.15 at 1:48 pm }

I saw Hamlet in the theater, too! So, I was there “with” you, in Ohio. It was the first time I saw a play being broadcasted live into a movie theater and I loved the experience. I enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch. Can’t wait for the Sherlock Christmas special! I also thought I read somewhere about a joint venture show crossover with Sherlock and Dr. Who.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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