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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Tony & Cleo
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0275.  Wednesday, 26 February 1997.

[1]     From:   Framji Minwalla <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Feb 1997 11:34:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0268  Q: Tony & Cleo

[2]     From:   Jeff Myers <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Feb 1997 17:22:42 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0273  Re: Tmp.; MND; Ant


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Framji Minwalla <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Feb 1997 11:34:39 -0500
Subject: 8.0268  Q: Tony & Cleo
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0268  Q: Tony & Cleo

I saw the NYC production of A&C the same day Gabriel did, and thought it
dreadful.  Vanessa Redgrave directed her strident politics into the
play, and while politicizing Shakespeare may not be a bad idea,
politicizing to point of shifting the meanings of the play to what might
be considered their exact opposite is disastrous, here.  Redgrave plays
Cleopatra as Elizabeth I, with high-ruff collar and tight corset.
Antony, of course, becomes Essex.  And Octavius, cast as a 16 year old
boy (played by a woman), the epitome of radical catholicism.

The production is muddy, the performers often unintelligible, making the
play, ultimately, boring to watch.  Everyone in the NYC area, be
warned.  This is not worth seeing at all.

     Framji Minwalla

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeff Myers <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Feb 1997 17:22:42 GMT
Subject: 8.0273  Re: Tmp.; MND; Ant.
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0273  Re: Tmp.; MND; Ant.

>Yes, I saw A&C in Washington. Is it the same company? I wasn't sure it
>could be done, but it was done beautifully. But it was difficult to
>believe in Cleopatra. I forgot the name of the actress, but I would not
>have traveled from Brooklyn to Manhattan for her, much less from Rome to
>Egypt. The rest of the cast was brilliant, and the production remained
>loyal to the original.

I always wonder if Shakespeare's audience made the same kind of remarks
about the young boy squeaking the part on his stage, or did the fact
that it was a boy eliminate expectations of mythical beauty so often
decried as lacking in modern actresses?

Jeff Myers
 

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