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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Olivier
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0570  Monday, 25 February 2002

From:           Jan Pick <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Feb 2002 21:59:43 -0000
Subject:        Olivier

I'm not sure of the protocols here, so forgive me if I'm doing this in
the wrong way, but I picked up on the comment by one of your
contributors that his students ALL felt that Olivier was overrated as a
performer from a video that they had seen?  ALL?  I would point out that
if a video was to be shown to these students of Garrick, Siddons, Kean,
Kemble, Irving, Terry, Bernhardt etc, their response would be pretty
much the same.  To attempt to confine a great stage actor in a small
two-dimensional box is ridiculous, and to judge him/her as an actor from
that risible.  I never saw Olivier on stage, but know people who did,
and who have vivid memories of his brilliance, charisma and the sense of
danger he generated in the theatre.  To suggest that somehow critics and
audiences of his heyday were unable to judge an actor properly is
somewhat insulting - and surely there must be a member of the awkward
squad prepared to 'ginger-up' this group of students and initiate a
discussion!

Jan Pick

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