2003

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0987  Tuesday, 20 May 2003

From:           John Owen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 May 2003 09:44:43 -0700
Subject: 14.0943 Top One
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0943 Top One

My choice for a Top One production would be Ernest Milton's OId Vic
Hamlet, in any of its many performances during the 1920s. As with
Olivier's Macbeth, no audio or visual record exists. Milton has been
mightily praised by authors as various as Alexander Woolcott and Peter
O'Toole. In between, we have JC Trewin rhapsodizing on his Hamlet, Alec
Guinness praising his genius and Harold Hobson lamenting his ultimate
failure and lapse into listless mannerisms. The available recordings of
Milton in other roles show no sign of special talent, so we are left
with the possibility not only of a great lost performance, but of a
great, "lost" performer. This is all the more frustrating, given that
Milton lived until 1974 and could, presumably, have preserved a great
deal more work than he did. I'd love to be able to decide for myself.

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