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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: September ::
Re: "Modern dress" Syndrome
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1862  Monday, 9 September 2002

[1]     From:   Jan Pick <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 Sep 2002 17:17:22 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1847 Re: "Modern dress" Syndrome

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Saturday, 7 Sep 2002 07:19:38 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 13.1847 Re: "Modern dress" Syndrome


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jan Pick <
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Date:           Friday, 6 Sep 2002 17:17:22 +0100
Subject: 13.1847 Re: "Modern dress" Syndrome
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1847 Re: "Modern dress" Syndrome

I have no problem with the comedies in various different times, modern
or otherwise, but I do find the tragedies and histories more difficult.
As soon as you place a play in a context, eg Coriolanus in revolutionary
France, there will be all sorts of expectations and accretions to the
production.  A nebulous setting is better.  I am afraid I shuddered at
David Farr's justification of the new production of his projected
'Coriolanus' for the RSC.  It is a huge play, so yet again they are
squashing it into the smallest space they can and it is going to be
'modern'.  A sort of mix of 19th century Prussian, with Japanese feudal
society and he sees it as a militaristic feudal society moving through a
socialist revolution into modern consumerism.  I know they keep wanting
to bash home the 'relevance' but 'Coriolanus' is set in ancient Rome for
a purpose and it would be fantastic to see it done without all this
modern garbage piled on top!  Oh, and 'The Merry Wives' is set in 1949
with Falstaff leading a gang of spivs.  Also in the small space.  The
big theatre will have a jolly musical.  Young directors so scared of
using the RST.  Discuss.

Jan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Saturday, 7 Sep 2002 07:19:38 -0400
Subject: Re: "Modern dress" Syndrome
Comment:        SHK 13.1847 Re: "Modern dress" Syndrome

Ted Dykstra wheels out a real golden oldie:

'the truth, the timeless truth, of the play'

Just one example will do, Ted. Otherwise, a spell in the F. R. Leavis
correctional facility looms, I'm afraid.

T. Hawkes

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