The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0940  Thursday, 3 June 1999.

From:           Drew Whitehead <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 3 Jun 1999 09:35:06 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Subject:        Re: Arkangel Shakespeare

I have two queries for the list regarding the Penguin Arkangel
Shakespeare Series.  So far I have bought and listened to eight plays,
MSD, R&J, John, 1&2 Henry IV, Henry V, All's Well, Merchant, and of
these the only one that I have found that showed any real appreciation
for the medium for which they were produced was MSD.  I have noticed
that all eight had the same director, the same composer, and the same
producers and I feel that this is a seriously limiting factor.  As a
rule I love audio Shakespeare and feel that the plays adapt extremely
well to the medium.  However, while I am enjoying the Arkangel series, I
can't help feeling that they could have somehow been, I don't know, a
little less conservative perhaps.  I keep comparing them to plays that I
have heard that have been made for solely for radio and consistently
they don't live up to my expectations.  I fear a repetition of the BBC
Shakespeare.  Am I being too hard?

The second query is to do with academic criticism of the Arkangel
series.  I have performed a fairly thorough search on both the MLA and
Current Contents and I can find no review of the series.  I am wondering
why that should be.  Surely the Arkangel series is no different from any
other performance of a Shakespearean play?  Why then should they be
ignored by the academic journals?

Does anybody have any thoughts on this matter?

Drew Whitehead

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