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April 1996, Week 4


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Kevin Troy Darling <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 22 Apr 1996 16:02:01 -0400
text/plain (33 lines)
In a message dated 96-04-20 01:14:38 EDT, you write:
>Date:    Thu, 18 Apr 1996 01:19:53 -0500
>From:    Peter Latham <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Richard III
>I was originally resistant to seeing Ian McKellan's Richard III because I
>thought there was little point to protraying the politicians of 1485 in the
>clothing of 1935.
>I wish to recant.
I saw an interview Ian McKellan gave on the Chalie Rose program on PBS.
McKellan said that he always likes to move Shakespeare to modern dress,
because it overcomes the major block that audiences have with his plays--they
feel too removed from the times.
I have performed some Shakespeare and had the benefit of being directed by
Roderick Horne, in Love's Labours Lost. Roderick was a member of the RSC (had
some wickedly catty gossip), but he also chose to use modern dress. The
difference was amazing. The actors were less concerned about their costume,
makeup, etc. and thus were more focussed on the character. The audience was
intrigued by the moderninity enough to forget that they're supposed to be
afraid of the language. It works if the style serves emphasize the director's
themes (as with McKellans R.III). It falls flat if it's gimicky or arbitrary
enough to distract from the text.
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