The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0429  Friday, 13 February 2004

From:           John Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Feb 2004 23:01:01 -0800
Subject:        Reply to In Search of Shakespeare

Being moved to add a small particle of idiosyncratia to this discussion,
I'll start by admitting I watched part of this series the other night.
I wasn't too interested in it, though, being occupied with posting my
pictures of Cliveden to Webshots.  I didn't particularly like it; it was
by no means compelling enough to distract me into actually watching it,
although I did notice the part Dr. Taylor mentioned about the play "as
it was actually performed" (or however they put it) and then seeing a
black actor on the stage.  I'm not sure which play was being performed
at that point, but it was definitely not Othello, and it was a little
confusing, as I started turning it over in my mind: just what is the
authentic detail being shown here, did they have black actors then? (I
always perk-up when something purports to be the way it was done in
ancient times).

I didn't like it, but I wasn't full of revulsion at it, either.  It just
seemed thin.  I'm not sure, but it looked like they shot it on
videotape, which is never a good sign (subjectively speaking).  I had
the impression they probably had done a good deal of thinking about what
kind of audience they were trying to reach, and then went out and tried
to adjust their presentation to that hypothetical audience as well as
they could.  It had what seemed to be a dose of dramatic conflict,
including violent conflict, not exactly depicted but nevertheless part
of the story they were showing and telling.  It sort of reminded me of
the style of adaptation suffered (or enjoyed) by the movie made out of
The Lord of the Rings in that respect (a lot of conflict selected and
frequent violence).  Maybe I'm not part of that audience.  Almost
assuredly not, as hardly anything I see on television these days
interests me, or in the theater/cinema either, certainly not enactments
of plays written by Shakespeare.  Except for the Rose Bowl; I liked
watching that.  The Rose Bowl is much better than bear baiting probably was.

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