Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 112. Thursday, 28 May 1992.
Date: Thursday, May 28, 1992, 10:51:06 CDT
Subject: Productions of Apocrypha
Re: Productions of the Apocrypha -- since no-one else seems to have
mentioned it, may I mention Barry Kyle's 1986 production of *Two Noble
Kinsmen*, the inaugural production at the RSC's Swan Theatre in Stratford?
Reviews published at the time and the relevant *Shakespeare Survey* will
provide ample commentary for anyone willing to look them up -- let me
simply observe here that Imogen Stubbs' performance as the Gaoler's
Daughter really was as good as everyone said it was, quite rightly
establishing her as the best young classical actress of her time. I knew
she was good when we were students together -- she played a very shrewd
Cressida back in 1980 -- but never guessed she would turn out *that* good;
I don't think I've ever seen a higher proportion of an audience weeping as
I did after her final exit line (If you hurt me, I'll cry). I daresay the
While I'm here let me warmly second Prof Urkowitz's misgivings about
Branagh's *Henry V*; who was it who pointed out that it offered the most
vivid statement yet of Margaret Thatcher's position on the European
Community? The real giveaway on those supposedly compassionate and
pacific battle-scenes is the music, which is all pompous vagueness and
war-memorials, completely undercutting what particularity the scenes manage
to retain. Walton's score was incisive by comparison. I quite enjoyed
Branagh's performance in the part on stage (when Branagh's Henry V was
still Adrian Noble's!) but the film seems profoundly dishonest, however
successfully it may have made Tad Davis want to die for his king.
I actually think that Shakespeare's plays make actively bad films, but
there we are. I quite enjoyed Trevor Nunn's *Othello* video, but this
may be purely because it has Imogen Stubbs in it as Desdemona. Is it
on release in the States yet? If not, why not? McKellen plays Iago
as a grubby, horribly confiding Yorkshire corporal; it's a fascinatingly
creepy performance. To be seen.
Best regards ---