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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Top Tens!
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0884  Friday, 9 May 2003

From:           Jan Pick <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 May 2003 17:57:06 +0100
Subject:        Re: Top Tens!

As the BBC compiles its never-ending lists of greatest (ie most popular)
men, women, books, poems ad nauseum for ever and ever it seemed to me
timely to compile my own lists.  First the top ten Shakespeare
productions I wished I had been around to see and the defining
productions of my own theatre-going over the years since 1968 when as a
young teenager I saw Troilus and Cressida, directed by John Barton.
Perhaps others would like to nominate theirs....?

Productions I wish I had been able to see - not in any real order:
Garrick as Hamlet
Irving's 'Macbeth' - with all the singing and dancing witches - sigh!
and
Ellen Terry as Lady M
Frank Benson's 'Macbeth' at Leamington Spa, which has been described
beautifully by Sprague and sounds a hoot!
Peggy Ashcroft and Michael Redgrave in Antony and Cleopatra
John Philip Kemble's Coriolanus
Edmund Kean as Shylock
Olivier as Titus Andronicus
The Merchant of Venice directed by Komisarjevsky in 1932 - described in
terms of glowing approbation by my father in law who did see it!
Orson Welles voodoo Macbeth
The 1964 Wars of the Roses

My defining Shakespeare productions - not in order:
Troilus and Cressida - John Barton and RSC 1968/9
A Midsummer Night's Dream - yup, the Brook, 1970
A Midsummer Night's Dream/Boyd/RSC 1999
The Tempest/Sam Mendes 1993
Coriolanus/Hands/Howard 1977
Henry VI trilogy/Hands/1977
Comedy of Errors/1976 - & 2001!
Measure for Measure/John Barton/Ian Richardson
Antony and Cleopatra/Brook/1978
Henry V/Hands/1975
The Taming of the Shrew/Doran/2003 - best Shrew I've seen in years!

The Midland-centric nature of the list is because I live in the Midlands
and tend to use Stratford as my local Rep!  I am prepared to acknowledge
that there must be many other wonderful productions elsewhere at home
and abroad, but this is a personal list and involves my own benchmarks.
Since 1990 I have had the joy of introducing my own children to
Shakespeare in the theatre and watching them - particularly my daughter
become hooked on the Bard.  Life's a wonderful thing!

Jan

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