The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1103 Saturday, 18 June 2005
Date: Thursday, 16 Jun 2005 10:18:34 -0700
Subject: Oregon Shakespeare Festival's RICHARD III
I've had a chance to see OSF's production (Ashland, OR) of Richard III
and would like to recommend it to SHAKSPERians. I might add that though
I'm a longtime OSF supporter, I had yet to see a Libby Appel-directed
production that I wholeheartedly liked, but her RIII has proved a
notable exception. It's both lucid and highly entertaining, and she
does an interesting recurring motif with the thorny Margaret that I
liked very much. The set and costume designs support the overall vision
of the production-think "bottled spider" and you'll have it.
But the foremost reason to see this production is the unbelievably
dynamic and athletic performance of James Newcomb as the Bottled Spider
himself. He scurries and swings about the stage, his ever-widening web,
on metal crutches that begin to take on the truly creepy appearance of
elongated arachnid appendages. (Shelob, make way!) Newcomb's vocal
fluency notwithstanding, his is a performance so fantastically physical
(unusual in a Shakespeare production!) that the only thing I can compare
it to is one of Chaplin's or Keaton's silent film olympiads. Really, it
goes down in my mind as one of the best stage performances I've ever seen.
We're going down again to Ashland again in July to see the other Shax
productions...anyone seen any of them?
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