The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0033 Monday, 28 January 2013
Date: January 28, 2013 10:05:14 AM EST
Subject: Pale Fire
Those of us who have read SHAKSPER for years know that Charles Weinstein doesn’t like Simon Russell Beale’s performances. That’s fine, of course, even for those of us (like me) who think he is a superb actor. What continues to perplex me is why Weinstein goes on going to see him perform when he knows, from past experiences, that he is very unlikely to enjoy the result. I happened to think the Timon production was magnificent – and, in the interests of full disclosure, I wrote the programme note for the production. But if I knew I was almost certainly going to dislike the central performance, especially in a play as dominated by its central role as Timon is, I would save myself the irritation of watching, even though opportunities to see Timon don’t come round too often. There are a number of actors whose work I find I have consistently disliked (some may be disliked by Weinstein too) and so I don’t buy tickets to see them anymore. Professional theatre reviewers have no choice – it is their job to watch productions they have reasonable expectations of loathing. But for Weinstein and me, as mere amateurs, the choice to save our money and avoid raising our blood pressure seems entirely rational. Or am I missing something?