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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: December ::
Re: *Twelfth Night*
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1266.  Wednesday, 31 December 1997.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Dec 1997 17:07:57 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 8.1258  *Twelfth Night*

[2]     From:   Peter Hillyar-Russ <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Dec 1997 08:19:41 -0000
        Subj:   Re: "Twelfth Night"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Dec 1997 17:07:57 +0000
Subject: *Twelfth Night* -Reply
Comment:        SHK 8.1258  *Twelfth Night* -Reply

Cora,

you wrote:

>I watched TN on Starz last night with Imogen Stubbs and Helena Carter.
>I'm interested in your reaction.  I though it slow and dark, which might
>appeal to one writer in this forum who criticized the Utah Shakespeare
>festival because it didn't emphasize the dark side of the comedy
>enough.  Actually I thought that the Utah production was a lark.

That may have been me.  I have not seen an American production that
wasn't a lark, sadly, with a single exception.  The others failed to
recognize the shallowness of the characters was a problem, and made
their cruelty as viewer friendly as possible.  The film was much closer
to the spirit of the play.

I criticized the USF production for much else as well: Incompetent
staging in parts, under casting most roles, and other things.  It is the
"safest" professional production I have seen.  One actor told me that he
and Howard Jensen, no relation, the director of Hamlet, had to fight to
make that production as risky as they did.  They actually had to justify
it to management.  By any other standard than Utah's, there was nothing
risky about that Hamlet.  It was a good, solid production.  Another
actor and a behind the scenes person in Cedar City told me that "safe"
is the eternal and fatal flaw of that festival.  I daresay they know
their audiences.

>Sir Andrew at the festival much better.  He was very tall and
>his costume made him look ridiculously so.

Didn't you find that festival costume a problem?  It was funnier than
Malvolio's when in his yellow stockings.  Surely that is wrong.  I have
no complaints about the actor's performance.  For me, he was one of the
few bright spots of an otherwise forgettable production.  To be fair,
the child with us, the daughter of a friend, enjoyed it very much.  She
enjoyed Hamlet more.

Best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hillyar-Russ <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Dec 1997 08:19:41 -0000
Subject:        Re: "Twelfth Night"

Just to correct a small inaccuracy...

I think the version of "Twelfth Night", produced by Renaissance Films,
currently being discussed was directed by Trevor Nunn, rather than by
Sir Peter Hall.

Possibly the best casting in the piece was the county of Cornwall as the
scenery, but Renaissance are good at that - Blenheim Palace in their
Hamlet far outclassed any of the actors.

Peter Hillyar-Russ
 

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