The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0892 Friday, 29 March 2002
Date: Friday, 29 Mar 2002 03:13:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RSC on Newsnight
Last night's BBC2 news-analysis program, Newsnight, included a fairly
extended feature on the RSC's proposed changes, including a brief, but
characteristically contentious, interview by Jeremy Paxman with Adrian
Noble. Also reported was the delay of the preview performances of the
Roundhouse WT, scheduled to begin last night but now set back by a week
to accommodate more structural adaptation of the venue.
There was a lot of emphasis on whether the proposed changes (the "Fleet
Project") constituted a wise or appropriate use of public funds.
Although I have my own questions about some of the proposed changes, I
found myself feeling somewhat irritated by the non-stop effort to
portray what Noble is trying to do as some sort of scandal-with-coverup.
The feature included a brief account of the new MND production (which
was called "the RSC's 'grunge' version"), complete with a montage of the
many bad reviews it has received. To the show's credit, they also
included comments and reviews invited by some of the secondary-level
students who have seen the production, which were more favorable. Two
cast members were also interviewed, who spoke up on behalf of trying to
do new things with this frequently-performed play.
Also creditable was the mention of how the Fleet project does not
include very explicit plans for the encouragement and production of new
writing and new plays, especially with the temporary closure of The
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