The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0940 Thursday, 3 June 1999.
From: Drew Whitehead <
Date: Thursday, 3 Jun 1999 09:35:06 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Subject: Re: Arkangel Shakespeare
I have two queries for the list regarding the Penguin Arkangel
Shakespeare Series. So far I have bought and listened to eight plays,
MSD, R&J, John, 1&2 Henry IV, Henry V, All's Well, Merchant, and of
these the only one that I have found that showed any real appreciation
for the medium for which they were produced was MSD. I have noticed
that all eight had the same director, the same composer, and the same
producers and I feel that this is a seriously limiting factor. As a
rule I love audio Shakespeare and feel that the plays adapt extremely
well to the medium. However, while I am enjoying the Arkangel series, I
can't help feeling that they could have somehow been, I don't know, a
little less conservative perhaps. I keep comparing them to plays that I
have heard that have been made for solely for radio and consistently
they don't live up to my expectations. I fear a repetition of the BBC
Shakespeare. Am I being too hard?
The second query is to do with academic criticism of the Arkangel
series. I have performed a fairly thorough search on both the MLA and
Current Contents and I can find no review of the series. I am wondering
why that should be. Surely the Arkangel series is no different from any
other performance of a Shakespearean play? Why then should they be
ignored by the academic journals?
Does anybody have any thoughts on this matter?