Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 1, No. 5. Sunday, 29 Jul 1990.
Date: 28 July 1990, 07:21:25 EDT
Following Willard and Ken, I think modernizing Shakespeare should depend
on what works.  I first saw *Lear* in a Canadian production in Eskimo
dress, and it worked very well--furs on Lear emphasizing his massiveness
and slit tunics on Goneril and Regan emphazising their evil sexuality.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan Miller this last spring,
and he still has no problems with *Merchant of Venice* in 19th c. dress or
with Bob Hoskins as a cockney Iago (Miller quoted Hoskins as saying
"Well, oim a villain, ain't I?").  Miller did feel that there were
extremes of bad taste represented in some productions.  One
fictionalized production in a forgettable movie cast Richard III as an
offensively gay king, but I can imagine a well-done version of the same
general idea, with Richard's relationship with Buckingham being
emphasized, as well as his disgust with Anne.  Roy Flannagan

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