The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1826  Tuesday, 26 October 1999.

From:           David Skeele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 25 Oct 1999 16:24:33 -0300
Subject: 10.1781 Re: Long Wharf Theatre Production of Much Ado
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1781 Re: Long Wharf Theatre Production of Much Ado

>I did not see the Long Wharf production, but I saw the current
>production (which was very good) of Much Ado at The Repertory Theatre of
>St. Louis, and it seems to have a mild conceptual similarity with the
>production you describe. Like the Long Wharf production, the St. Louis
>Much Ado was set in 1918 at the close of WW1.
>A FASCINATING choice was made with Don John here: when he enters with
>the rest of the soldiers in 1.1, he is wearing military dress from WW1,
>covered by a brown leather trench coat. He stands off to the side,
>keeping his arms crossed and inside his trench coat. When Leonato
>approaches him with "Let me bid you welcome...," he holds out his hand
>to shake Don John's hand. Don John replies with his "I thank you," and
>then extends his arm, which reveals a bandage covering an amputated
>limb, obviously a war wound.

In reading about these various MUCH ADOs set in the periods succeeding
actual historical wars, I am curious-has anyone ever done or seen a
production in which the battle described was actually one BETWEEN Don
Pedro and Don John?  I was in a production (directed by SHAKSPERean Paul
Nelsen) in which this choice was made, and it opened up many interesting
possibilities.  In particular, it made the choice to forgive Don John at
the beginning particularly poignant, since instead of having committed
some vague, nameless sin against Don Pedro, Don John was actually the
source of all the bloodshed.  I never hear of anyone else making this
connection, however.

   David Skeele

P.S. to Mike Jensen: I believe that "civilised" is an accepted British
spelling of the word.

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