The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0940 Thursday, 4 April 2002
Date: Wednesday, 3 Apr 2002 16:53:58 -0500
Subject: 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure
Comment: Re: SHK 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure
A few notes:
The play started with huge poles up with wheels on top - reminiscent of
the instruments of torture in paintings i have seen. Bits of flesh (?)
were attached. Before a word was spoken a drunk had been rolled and
beaten in a street scene.
Freud ? well Martha Henry's Isabella did not want to marry the duke -
she was left on stage at the end in an isolated spot with devastation
written on her face as she took off her wimple.
Hutt's duke was years older, an ex lover of Marianna - so tried to marry
her off, a manipulator of considerable charm. That he pulled the strings
was never in doubt except regarding Isabella. Bedford's Angelo was a
hard working and competent civil servant as well as a secret puritan who
had never been attracted to any woman in his life. He was sand-bagged
by his first encounter with her. His innate fanaticism rose in their
second encounter with his threats and pleas. I think Monette played
Lucio - anyway he was played as a man who loved his friend, came to
respect Isabella, who told the truth about the "duke of dark corners"
and lived to regret it.
It may have been Freud's Vienna - the period costumes et al were right
but I don't think the audience were directed to think 'Freud' every time
a new character appeared. Hutt and Henry were even then too good to fall
for a doctinaire approach and they both enjoyed working with Phillips.
This was a brutal and corrupt Vienna run by a machiavel who wanted
someone else to clean up his mess.
As you can see 23 years later I still have vivid memories of it. It's
one of my favourite plays
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