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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Classical Acting: Signs of Decline
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0600  Thursday, 28 February 2002

From:           Sam Small <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 28 Feb 2002 10:55:41 -0000
Subject: 13.0577 Re: Classical Acting: Signs of Decline
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0577 Re: Classical Acting: Signs of Decline

". . . God knows what special membranes coated [Olivier's] features at
birth, or what soothsayers were present....Ian McKellen is right--it's
hopeless trying to measure up to him."

I know what Charles Weinstein is getting at.  The few times I saw
Olivier I was impressed by his complete control of his body and mind to
do the job.  But Olivier was born at exactly the right moment - his
attributes were of his time.  Would he be so popular now?  Probably
not.  Would he have succeeded in the 1920s or even in the 19th Century?
I doubt that too - probably too progressive for them.  Great artistic
success must not be too far from the accepted norm.  If Michael
Schumacher was born in the 1800s would he have been famous?  Obviously
not for motor racing.  An extreme example, I grant, but "the luck of
time placement" has a lot to do with the destiny of a great artist.  I
am minded of some of my middle-aged friends telling me that pop music is
not what it was in the 1960s.  Look at any top 40 chart from the 60s and
you will see quite clearly that no such golden age existed!  When you
add the negatives and positives of all ages together you get a
remarkably similar result.

SAM SMALL

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