Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 203. Thursday, 29 Aug 1991.
Date: 		Wed, 28 Aug 1991 20:51:28 -0400
From: 		Chet Vittitow <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Organization: 	University of Louisville
Subject: 2.0202  Shakespeare in San Diego
Comment:      	[Re:] SHK 2.0202  Shakespeare in San Diego
Having read the reviews of the plays in San Diego, I am at last brave enough
to dare a posting of my own to this list.
Actor's Theatre of Louisville is a nationally recognized theater company.
For some reason, however, they can't seem to get the Shakespeare right.
This was borne out earlier this summer with a ludicrous production of
King Lear.
It was, for some reason, set in pre-20th-century Arabia.  (Surely Desert
Storm had nothing to do with this whatsoever!)  I am not one to play the
immutable purist when it comes to re-setting Shakespeare.  (Shakespeare
himself could hardly cry foul with Geoffrey and Saxo looking over his
shoulder.)  However, the company did nothing-- other than costume and a
bit of music-- to "localize" the performance.
Given the feudal nature of Bedouin society, this would have been quite
exciting had the play been revised along the lines of Kurisawa's *Ran.*
To have a group of actors trouping about in abbayas spouting "What Ho, Kent"
and "How now, Gloucester" was a bit much.  (France and Burgundy, in their
little foreign-legion outfits, drew a few chuckles.)  How, in the nineteenth
century, we are supposed to believe that these personages went in search
of "sauvage brides" is a bit beyond me.
Chet Vittitow

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