The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1082 Tuesday, 23 May 2000.
Date: Monday, 22 May 2000 11:40:23 -0700
Subject: Bogdonov says, "Shakespeare is Dead"
Theater director Michael Bogdonov says, "Shakespeare is Dead." And I
thought he was chowing down with Elvis.
This is from the about.com British Theatre newsletter.
Uh, anyone get Radio 3 have a tape recorder? I'll pay for the tape and
Shakespeare is Dead
A correspondent has sent us this brief summary of a lecture given by
Michael Bogdanov at the Purcell Rooms. The correspondent described the
lecture as "fiery"!
Michael Bogdanov gave a controversial and impassioned speech entitled
"Shakespeare is Dead" followed by a discussion with BAC Artistic
Director Tom Morris and a question and answer session with the audience.
Bogdanov claimed that Shakespeare in Britain has been hi-jacked by the
establishment whose attitude of literary exclusivity sees "the text as
holy grail, sacrilege to discover it" which, he felt, cut off its
lifeblood. He felt that the majority of the nation saw Shakespeare as
inaccessible, irrelevant and the bedfellow of a conservative ideology.
In asking how we could deal with a 21st century Shakespeare, he
expressed his belief that a more radical attitude to changing the text,
translating into a modern idiom where necessary, must be deployed. With
language constantly changing and words dropping out of use all the time,
he feared that in 100 years time Shakespeare might become completely
impossible for the lay-person to understand and "become buried deep down
inside an intellectual foxhole".
Why not Shakespeare in translation if it can open up to a vast popular
As you might imagine, the question and answer session that followed was
extremely lively and quite argumentative! The lecture and subsequent
discussion can be heard on Radio 3 on October 14th.