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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: October ::
Productions: 2 *AYL*s and Feinnes in *Ham.*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0805. Wednesday, 12 October 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Edna Boris <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Oct 94 20:46:44 EDT
        Subj:   As You Like It
 
(2)     From:   Tom Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 09:49:11 -0600
        Subj:   Ralph Feinnes in Hamlet at the Hackney Empire
 
(3)     From:   Gayle Gaskill <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 17:16:15 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Review of As You Like It at Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edna Boris <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Oct 94 20:46:44 EDT
Subject:        As You Like It
 
If anyone gets a chance to see the Cheek by Jowl Company production of As You
Like It, which just completed a run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, I
recommend that you see it.  Among other aspects of the production, the entirely
male cast is fascinating to watch in the extremely appealing and convincing
portraits of Rosalind, Celia, Phebe, and Audrey.  Even while always knowing the
actors are men and seeing the body language that they use when playing women,
the audience finds the portrayals convincing (and these were adult men).  But
of even greater importance in this production and according to the Playbill
notes, acting and the language of the text are central to this company.  Every
word was alive and meaningful, intelligently spoken with witty, appropriate
stage business, and the barest of props and scenery.  They did not lose my
attention for one second.  I'd be interested to hear other people's reactions.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 09:49:11 -0600
Subject:        Ralph Feinnes in Hamlet at the Hackney Empire
 
According to the box office of the Hackney Empire, Mr. Fiennes will be
appearing in Hamlet there in January.  Bookings will begin in December.
 
                                     Thomas Jensen
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gayle Gaskill <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Oct 1994 17:16:15 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Review of As You Like It at Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis
 
Garland Wright's post--modernist production of As You Like It at the Guthrie
Theatre in Minneapolis stresses the violence of a repressive society.  Duke
Senior's entourage sets up a makeshift camp in a wintry Forest of Arden wrapped
in rags like the displaced persons they are or like the homeless people in
Loring Park just beyond the theatre parking lot. Wright's melancholy Jacques
philosophizes over the fallen deer on stage, first covering its bloody carcass
with his cloak and later commanding its drunken hunters at gunpoint to bear the
horns. When Orlando surprises Duke Senior's camp, the Duke's men aim rifles at
him while he holds his knife to a hostage's throat. Duke Frederick uses torture
to extract intelligence of the missing Celia.
 
Politics are an elaborate dance.  Wright introduces Rosalind and Celia as
pupils in a stifling gavotte.  In protest, Rosalind strips off her black stays
and hoops and stands barefoot in her white shift, but Celia continues the
mincing, formal steps. Before the finale's wedding hoe-down reveals Rosalind as
a '60's flower child, Phebe--a Bo Peep in decolletage--struggles to learn the
courtly dance from a book.  Given power, Wright suggests, any regime will turn
decadent.  Orlando kisses Ganymede, then spits in horror at his own action, as
the homophobia of a repressive environment clutters even intimate expression.
 
The best hope is Le Beau, a subversive who exaggerates a fop's court dress into
heroic drag.  Expanding the role with speeches from Charles the wrestler (1.1)
and the second son of Sir Rowland de Boys (5.4), Le Beau negotiates in farm,
court, or forest with full wig, curtsy, and a stiff fan that makes fart noises.
 He is the ourageous messenger of warning and rescue.
 
AYL runs through 19 Nov. in repertoire with The Broken Jug by Heinrich von
Kleist, directed by Liviu Ciulei.  Box office: (612) 377-2224.
 
Gayle Gaskill, College of St. Catherine
 

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