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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: January ::
Re: BBC Series
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0119  Monday, 21 January 2002

[1]     From:   Peter Hadorn <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 12:04:24 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[2]     From:   Bruce Young <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 11:13:10 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[3]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 13:55:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[4]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Saturday, 19 Jan 2002 12:40:08 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[5]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Sunday, 20 Jan 2002 21:22:54 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0079 Re: BBC Series


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hadorn <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 12:04:24 -0600
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

Regarding the BBC series, I can't resist putting in my two cents worth.

My favorite of the ones I've seen is "The Taming of the Shrew." Most
people I have talked to will dismiss it in favor of the
Burton/Taylor/Zeffirelli film.  But I had the advantage of seeing the
BBC version first so I wasn't prejudiced by the gloss and high
slap-stick of the film.  I found Cleese's understated humor throughout
(I have read that he intentionally wanted to do a version that
contrasted with the Zeffirelli) quite hilarious.  Rather than depending
on broad comedy and melodrama, its approach to humor is nuanced and
intelligent.  It uses the "lines" to create the humor.  I recommend it
highly.

I also feel it is my duty to warn any potential purchaser to stay far
away from the "Romeo and Juliet" and I am surprised that no one has yet
done so.  The casting of the two leads was a tremendous blunder that
sabotaged any merit the rest of the production might have.  STAY AWAY!

I have heard from several others that "Dream" is also very bad, but I
haven't seen it myself.

Regarding some others, in brief: I agree that "Measure" and "R2" are
quite good.  I was also pleasantly surprised by "Two Gentlemen."  Unlike
an earlier writer, I thought "Errors" was ok and not terrible.  I was
disappointed by "1 Henry IV" and "As You Like It."

Plays that are worth seeing if you or a student need to see a version
that is competent, though they definitely don't sparkle: "All's Well,"
"Coriolanus," "Winter's Tale," and "Troilus."

Best,
Peter Hadorn
University of Wisconsin-Platteville

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Young <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 11:13:10 -0700
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

As might be expected, I agree with some who've expressed their opinions
and disagree with others.

My favorites include Measure for Measure, Much Ado (though I admire
Branagh's version, I prefer the BBC version of the scenes with Dogberry
and the watch, and the other parts are good too), The Winter's Tale
(despite a few quibbles--for instance, Perdita's not as strong as I'd
like), and All's Well (I think the ending works quite well).

I also like Othello (though it's been a while since I've seen it) and
Hamlet (for the most part).  Lear is OK--maybe I'm faint in my praise
because I keep hoping for a really great version.  And I remember being
pleased with Coriolanus, Pericles, and Cymbeline (though my memory of
the last two is fading).

I don't care for what I've seen of As You Like It (I'm not sure I've
seen it all the way through), and I remember feeling that Twelfth Night
dragged rather badly.  But I'm willing to be persuaded on either of
these.

I don't know most of the others well enough to comment on.

Bruce Young

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 13:55:59 -0500
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

For those who have seen the BBC Othello, with Bob Hoskins as Iago, I'd
be interested in knowing how his performance compares with his DeFlores
in the filmed version of The Changeling occasionally appearing on the
Bravo channel in the US. I have often thought DeFlores is much like
Iago.

Jack Heller

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Saturday, 19 Jan 2002 12:40:08 -0500
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

I'd like to put in a plug for the BBC/Time-Life *Taming of the Shrew*,
directed by the almost-always-interesting Jonathan Miller, with John
Cleese as a thoughtful and understated Petruchio and Sarah Badel as a
thirty-something Katherine whose anger at the inanity and repressiveness
of her life chez Baptista Minola is reasonable in ways that help make
sense of that final big speech.  The low-key sets (which echo important
early modern paintings from Paolo da Francesca through Georges de la
Tour to Vermeer) support an approach to the play by way of the good old
reason-passion axis.  Doesn't resolve our modern difficulties with the
patriarchal ideology, mind you, but does make a unusually coherent
attempt to contain them.  Very interesting contrast with Franco
Zeffirelli's better-known wide-screen romp (*Taming of the Shrew the
Movie*).

Dave Evett

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Sunday, 20 Jan 2002 21:22:54 +0000
Subject: 13.0079 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0079 Re: BBC Series

[>...Wow! I am an absolute sucker for the Who!!! Has anyone seen this
video?
>How good or bad is Roger Daltrey as an actor?... ]

In terms of good or bad I defer to Bob Dylan

 

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