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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: August ::
Making King John a Play Worth Watching
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1365  Tuesday, 23 August 2005

[1] 	From: 	Lauryn Sasso <
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	Date: 	Monday, 22 Aug 2005 11:43:05 -0400
	Subj: 	Making King John a Play Worth Watching

[2] 	From: 	Joseph Tate <
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	Date: 	Monday, 22 Aug 2005 09:26:38 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1353 Making King John a Play Worth Watching


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Lauryn Sasso <
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Date: 		Monday, 22 Aug 2005 11:43:05 -0400
Subject: 	Making King John a Play Worth Watching

I had the opportunity to see the Shakespeare and Co. production of King 
John a week ago, and highly recommend it.  I thought that it was one of 
the best, if not *the* best production of any Shakespeare play that I 
had personally seen anywhere in the last five or six years.  It was well 
acted top to bottom, with especially good performances by the actors 
portraying King John and the Bastard, and Packer's direction was superb. 
  The fact that the play *is* such a strange beast made all of this, and 
the level of clarity they achieved with it, all the more impressive.

I urge anyone who has the chance to see it before it closes...who knows 
when any company will do it again at all, much less do it so well!!

-Lauryn Sasso
MFA Candidate in Dramaturgy
UMass Amherst

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Tate <
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Date: 		Monday, 22 Aug 2005 09:26:38 -0700
Subject: 16.1353 Making King John a Play Worth Watching
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1353 Making King John a Play Worth Watching

Al Magary writes:

 >BTW it looks like the only KJ that's available on video is the BBC's
 >1984 production, directed by David Giles:
 >http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087559/  That was, I thought, stilted and
 >unimaginative and had ghastly sets to boot.

I just re-watched the BBC version last week and it does indeed have its 
unimaginative moments (act 2 for all I can tell is shot, in part, from 
the rafters of a minimally decorated, pastel-colored warehouse and the 
"gates" of Angiers seem to be stapled together pieces of poorly painted 
cardboard).  But I wanted to defend at least George Costigan's portrayal 
of the Bastard.  His handling of the "foot of honor" soliloquy in act 1 
and other speeches is fantastic-subtle and clear.

Joseph Tate
Oregon State University

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