Antic Disposition have been touring Shakespeare productions round the cathedrals of England for a number of years – this production of Richard III hit minor controversy when it was announced it would be performed in Leicester, where the man himself is buried. The director promised that this would be a sensitive production, but that “The play is the play and there is no doubt in it that he is the villain.” So I was interested to see how they tackled that particular dichotomy.
The answer is – with a modern-dress performance that downplayed the stately tyranny in favour of a more personal villain, and used the closeness of the audience to create a claustrophobic and haunting evening.
I’m on holiday at the moment (in the US, hoping to have better luck with the solar eclipse than I did with the last UK one).
So I’m not planning on posting anything new (and I haven’t managed to line up any more transatlantic theatre), but I would welcome any comments on this.
This is Shakespearean Equation: Hamlet by Man Ray. Anyone?
Just one or two quite exciting things to make sure you’re in the loop about…
The second in a (very) occasional series on the sources for Shakespeare’s work. Part one – on the “histories” he consulted – is here
We didn’t study Horace much at school, but my Latin teachers made sure we were at least aware of one his most famous lines – the beginning of Ode XXX.
Exegi monumentum aere perenniu
I have made a monument more lasting than bronze
Why am I mentioning it? Because every time I read the first lines of Sonnet 55, I am sure that Shakespeare had read Horace too…
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme
It’s not the only clue we have that Shakespeare knew his classical (and especially his Roman) authors. They crop up a great deal as the basis for characters, for plots and for literary allusions.
Iris Theatre (St Paul’s Covent Garden)
Iris Theatre (in its 10th anniversary year), Macbeth, and me. There’s a trio of weird sisters for a warm summer’s night. Continue reading
As far as I knew it, the plot of The Merry Wives was (to paraphrase Elizabeth I) laughs and a bit with a box. Falstaff and some wives? Of Windsor? Who are merry? Well, none of that is an inaccurate description for a play that is even more frothy than Twelfth Night and more contrived than Cymbeline…
Well, a bit of a storm blew up this weekend when it emerged that Shakespeare in the Park, a venerable New York institution which has been putting on productions in Central Park since the 1950s, is this year staging Julius Caesar in modern dress with a titular character who is blonde, has an eastern European wife, and (no spoiler to anyone who knows the play) get assassinated.