Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 700. Monday, 1 November 1993.
Date: Sunday, 31 Oct 1993 18:55:13 -0500
Subject: Two Gentlemen of Verona
Sarah Vos asked about productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona. I can
remember four that I have seen.
A production in 1981 in Spring Green, Wisconsin, sticks in my mind
because of Crab. This Crab seemed to yawn as if on cue!
In 1990, I saw a production at Chavenage house in Gloucestershire,
England. These performers did an excellent job with the Shakespearean
The 1991 production at Stratford, England, was so good I saw it twice!
It was in the Swan theatre, which has a nice intimate feel. A small
band was at the back of the stage. Fifteen minutes before the
production started, as the audience was taking their seats, the band
started to play. (I love it when they do that --- start the action
while the audience is still sitting down -- and music is the best
beginning of all!) This was a production set in the 1920s. Not only
did the band play, but singers came out and sang into an old-fashioned
microphone. There were at least three members of the cast who sang
before the production, and then a female singer took over for the rest
of the production, singing at the scene changes. It was very
effective, as the scene changing was choreographed with the music. The
female singer sang twenties love songs like ``In the Heat of the
Night'' and ending with all the cast singing ``Love is the greatest
thing''. She was a bleached blonde, very thin, not my type, but by the
end of the performance I was in love! (As was probably every other
male in the audience!) I felt that this was the best production of the
1990-91 Stratford season. The singing definitely improved the
production. The acting was all good with my favorite scene being the
first scene of the Duke's which they did while he was being shaved by
his groom. I like it when they set a scene doing an everyday thing,
rather than just standing around saying the lines. My only criticism
of this production was that their Crab seemed too much like a
In 1992, at the Carter Barron open-air amphitheater in Washington D.C.
the Lansburgh company did a free performance of As You Like It. But
little advertised and poorly attended was a performance of Two
Gentlemen put on by the student-interns of the Lansburgh company. This
was a good performance with rap-style music as accompaniment and a big
stuffed doll as Crab.