Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Matty likes Stumble

But I am kept pretty busy just scanning my google news alerts; I found this little gem this morning.

“You can’t divorce the plays from their historical context or the present, Michael Boyd told The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. “But for me you get less juice out of the plays if you set them in the present.” Giving a play a modern-day scenario can encourage the audience to draw simplistic, distracting links between that and Shakespeare’s words, he said. It had benefits “if you are alert to the pitfalls. The gain is immediacy and availability. The problem is, you are stuck with the contemporary references.” Referring to the National Theatre’s setting of Henry V in today’s Iraq, he said: “I don’t think we have gone into Iraq ‘to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels’ ”, as Hal is advised to do in Henry IV, Part II.

Now I won't argue about HV in Iraq. It is hard for me to reconcile French civil war with W's lying about oil profits. BUT I do beg to differ with The Times' Ben Hoyle, who wrote the snippet up top. I will argue dear one because I immediately recall the excellent productions of R3 in Nazi garb (that was Ian McKellan ('95) if I remember correctly) and most especially Michael Almereyda's Hamlet 2K. Hawke is brilliantly moody. Anything with a nakey Kyle Maclachlin catches my eye, but Bill Murray and Julia Stiles portray THE BEST Polonius/Ophelia combo I have ever seen. When he pulls her little disco sneaker up on his lap to tie her shoe??? THAT!! completely sums up their relationship. It is stunning. I love it. Plenty juicy. So in my wishy washy mood this morning I suppose I'll go with "which play?" I have seen some good modern dress Othellos, West Side Story is pretty good--Kevin Kline is having fun with the comedies--eww... I do recall a live production in Lansing in the late 80's. LCC did a horrible version of Winter's Tale in Native American Indian garb. That was blecko. What thinkest thou my pet?

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Tara said...
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