The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0943 Wednesday, 14 May 2003
Date: Tuesday, 13 May 2003 19:55:47 -0400
Subject: Top One
The great lost performance of our time is Olivier's Macbeth (1955), of
which there is no audio or visual record other than a few posed Angus
McBean photographs. Olivier was to have filmed it, but the financing
fell through. As a result, I have never seen a satisfying performance
of Macbeth, a statement unmodified by my having seen McKellen and Sher.
To compensate, I have read everything that I can find about Olivier's
performance, and I even once interviewed a member of the 1955 production
crew. But recreation in the mind's eye is a poor substitute for
reality, just as today's reality is a poor substitute for Olivier.
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