Dong Zhou wrote:Two things that can go wrong, specifically, with Shakespeare plays
1) The sense a member of the cast doesn't quite get it (which is what I was referring to). Either doesn't understand the words or doesn't feel them, concentrates on getting the words right but means little emotional power if any.
2) Reverence. Every line filled with importance and reverence as if taking High Mass. What should be a bawdy joke is treated and played as if a great piece of earth-shattering wisdom and must be treated with great solemn behaviour.
I don't think I realized he could be funny (bar Laurence Oliver's hilariously bad Hamlet) till a few years ago. Most of the stuff I watched when younger was pretty serious (even the comedies), the BBC's modern mini-adaptations were funny at times but I put it down to BBC for modern audiences. I think it was seeing Henry IV set in a brothel and the cast going for those scenes with a sense of humour that made me realize
Sun Fin wrote:We stuck exclusively to the tragedies (R&J, Macbeth and King Lear) and other than Mercuito's insults I can't remember looking at any of the comedy in them.
Sun Fin wrote:I don't recall studying any of the comedies in school. We stuck exclusively to the tragedies (R&J, Macbeth and King Lear) and other than Mercuito's insults I can't remember looking at any of the comedy in them. Although when I studied King Lear that was probably my own fault because the way we'd studied Macbeth had killed Shakespeare for me and despite the fact I now had a teacher who knew what she was talking about i was so disillusioned I had no interest left.
Zyzyfer wrote:I think they call that person a "bad actor".
An actor simply reciting his or her lines without understanding the character's motivation is supposed to be a huge no-no. Because yeah, having a bad actor like that in a prominent role, that will totally kill the experience.
Oh no, that sounds terrible. I remember Shakespeare being required reading in one of my English Lit classes. While those classes did teach me that he inserted countless bawdy jokes, as you mentioned, and plays on words and what not, it was also a very, very dry experience. I can only imagine what watching a formal and revered - in other words, stuffy and haughty - rendition of one of his tragedies must be like.
All the tools are there, even in the tragedies, if the director has that sort of vision and the cast have their heads in it.
Definitely feel like it's important to stay away from that traditional approach to crafting a performance out of his work, though. The thing to realize with Shakespeare's work is that, historically, these guys were kind of like street performers, and these shows were being viewed by the average layman. I think the language throws people off the scent; it's witty, not erudite.
Shen Ai wrote:Jersey Boys! Saw it a month back. Loved it. Much better on stage than in film.
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