Toronto Star | 05Jul2010 | Orest Slepokura

’64 protest street theatre

Re: The Toronto romance of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, July 3, 2010

Jennifer Wells’s description of the 1964 student protest against Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor outside the King Edward Hotel, where the two were staying while Burton was playing Hamlet at the O’Keefe Centre, incorrectly frames the student protest against Burton and Taylor as one of moral outrage.

In fact, the University of Toronto students -- the satirical rogues, to paraphrase Hamlet -- were engaged in street theatre, doing a hilarious send-up of Bible-thumping, Victorian propriety.

They actually donned Dickensian costumes and held up signs declaiming phrases of 1864 vintage, such as “Corrupt not our daughters,” to enliven the mood; which was anything but “chill,” as Wells avers.

For a “chill message,” look to the destructive rampage by vandals posing as anarchists at Toronto’s recent G-20 Summit.

Orest Slepokura, Strathmore, Alta.