The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0872 Tuesday, 22 September 1998.
Date: Tuesday, 22 Sep 1998 09:59:21 +1000
Subject: Editorial/Interpretational Practices
While pondering this topic further, I came across a passage in
"Shakespeare and the Authority of Performance" (Worthen, 1997). His
very conclusive argument includes the following: "To engage contemporary
culture more critically, Shakespearean production - and Shakespearean
acting - will have to engage the rhetoric that reproduces that culture
more directly. Such a strategy would demand a more self-evident
decentering of the privilege of character, and a more skeptical regard
for how "Shakespeare" is produced and implemented.
Although I agree with this, the director in me also realises that there
is a fine line between the financial viability of a production and
financial ruin. Unfortunately, the former tends to require the stamp of
authority from "Shakespeare" whereas the latter, albeit much more
interesting, may seek to negotiate meaning at the point of meeting
between text, actor, culture and audience.
Only the brave (or fully funded) are able to venture down this latter
path continuously. In Melbourne we have just seen Barrie Kosky's
renegotiated King Lear. While I don't believe it worked completely, it
did shake the cobwebs out of an "authorised" version of hte play. My
production of The Tempest last year, I think, did likewise. Neither
production was an economic success although some critics were prepared
to back both productions for their engagement with "contemporary