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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
The Theatre Seat: Then and Now
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0982  Monday, 19 May 2003

From:           Sam Small <
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 >
Date:           Sunday, 18 May 2003 00:23:56 +0100
Subject:        The Theatre Seat: Then and Now

I was one of the fortunate souls in London with a special preview ticket
for 'The Matrix Reloaded' and duly turned up with hundreds of others
waiting in Leicester Square in line in the rain for the great event.
The theatre was crowded with noisy journalists waiting for a marvel of
our time to spring upon us.  It duly did with much clatter and graphical
expertise.  The 'eye candy' effects were truly clever and inventive but
what remained depressed me.  Between the action events were long
speeches of unimaginable banality.  I caught the word 'choice' - and
'Zion' was mentioned several times.  The concept of 'plot' was totally
absent, the acting was more wooden and flimsy than Balsa and the script
was so beyond juvenile as to underestimate nine year olds.  Now imagine
this: the first performance of 'Hamlet' at the 'Globe' - also in
London.  What the audience experienced was a bewildering theatre of
multiple level exposition of politics and human nature.  For the
educated Lords and dirty apprentices there was much to enjoy, applaud
and think about.  Compare Hamlet's dilemma with 'The Matrix' "save the
city or save your girlfriend!' - I can't believe they said that.  Now
why have we gone backwards since then?  I can be hardly accused of being
a middle-aged grump pining for the early seventeenth century.  The Odeon
Theatre probably contained a higher percentage of educated people than
the old Globe could possibly imagine.  Anyhow, we left the Odeon,  had a
nice Chinese meal in Soho accompanied with delightful conversation with
a dear friend.  Little of it was about 'The Matrix Reloaded'.  Coming
home on the tube I noticed a man and his wife reading through a
programme of the current production of 'Henry the Fifth'.  It made me
smile.  I wondered if 'The Matrix Reloaded' would be shown anywhere in
London May 2303.  'No' is a safe bet.

SAM SMALL
http://www.passioninpieces.co.uk

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