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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: The Reduced Shakespeare Company
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0506  Monday, 5 March 2001

[1]     From:   Tom Dale Keever <
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        Date:   Friday, 2 Mar 2001 12:12:04 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0499 Reduced Shakespeare on PBS in March (U.S.)

[2]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Monday, March 05, 2001
        Subj:   Reduced Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Dale Keever <
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Date:           Friday, 2 Mar 2001 12:12:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 12.0499 Reduced Shakespeare on PBS in March (U.S.)
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0499 Reduced Shakespeare on PBS in March (U.S.)

>The Complete Works of William
>Shakespeare (abridged) comes to PBS in REDUCED SHAKESPEARE, airing on
>PBS as part of the March 2001 pledge drive (check local listings).

Thanks for the tip.  I will tune in.

I would be curious to know how other list members find this show.

I was stage-managing a production at Edinburgh in the same space as
"RSC" in 1991 and was backstage in the dressing room during their show a
few times.  The audience seemed to love it and I regretted I was not
able to see the show from the house, though the stagehands we shared
with the other acts in the "Ballroom" of the Assembly Rooms was less
impressed than the audiences had been.

When it came to New York I did see it and was immensely disappointed.  I
left at intermission, even before their acclaimed accelerated version of
"Hamlet."  I'd seen more than enough. The comedy, though energetic, did
not seem very clever or inventive and seemed aimed at an audience who
already thought of the work as a lot of silly nonsense.

I have nothing against a good send-up of Shakespeare -  I even staged
and performed in an informal production of Jonathan Miller's wonderful
"So That's the Way You Like It" from "Beyond the Fringe," when I was at
the Virginia Shakespeare Festival.  I suggest list members check out the
audio or video recordings of that gem of a parody and see how they think
the "Reduced..." boys stack up.  Miller's work is a satire on bad
productions written and preformed by lovers of the plays themselves and
designed for a similarly sophisticated audience.

I confess, though, that my judgment is based on seeing a replacement
cast and not the original players who developed the work.  I look
forward to seeing if the material takes on a different sort of life in
the hands of a better company.  That can happen.

                              Tom Dale Keever
                            Columbia University
                            
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                   http://www.columbia.edu/~tdk3

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Monday, March 05, 2001
Subject:        Reduced Shakespeare

My daughter Melissa and I saw the Reduced Shakespeare Company show in
London this past summer. The both of us having read the script several
times were somewhat disappointed in the first half; however, after the
interval, the company loosened up and began apparently to ad lib more
for a much more enjoyable second half.

LESSON: If you have not already, don't read the script before seeing the
show.
 

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