The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1602 Monday, 28 August 2000.
Date: Sunday, 27 Aug 2000 19:22:27 -0400
Subject: The Globe Season
I just came back from a week in London, including four consecutive days
at The Globe.
I agree with the generally unfavorable notices given to The Tempest,
especially Vanessa Redgrave's uninspired Prospero. Jasper Britten's
Calaban was the high point, albeit he could not quite decide whether to
play it entirely for comic effect or to put more emphasis on the now
obligatory anticolonial political message. The comedy worked better.
The Two Nobel Kinsmen, with the same company as Tempest, was more
interesting, but it was massively cut. Shakespeare suffered more from
the cutting than Fletcher, the result being that this production was
almost entirely Fletcher. The company can hardly be blamed, as the
language in Shakespeare's portions is so convoluted and dense as to be
nearly incomprehensible in performance.
I agree with Sam Small's favorable notice of Brome's The Antipodes. The
play is almost like a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta without the tunes.
Unfortunately, it is a one-joke plot that tends to wear thin after a
while; but it is short enough (or sufficiently cut) so that it ran under
Mark Rylance's Hamlet was worth the trip. He is an agreeable and fresh
Hamlet, and most of the rest of the cast were mostly up to his level.
The play was cut, of course, but most of the cuts were the usual ones --
"little eyases" and the like. Some, however, I found detracted -- "So
oft it chances in particular men"; and, most especially, "How all
occasions do inform against me" and most of the preceding part of the
scene (yes, I know that soliloquy was cut in F1). But even more
annoying was someone's decision to modernize some of the language, which
is odd in a company whose raison d'