Bard Talk: The Shakespeare Thread:

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76 Yuanchosaan4th Feb 2012 02:54:26 AM from Australia , Relationship Status:
antic disposition
Isn't Titus Andronicus usually played for comedy, or at least as a parody, nowadays? I can't really see how one might play it seriously and effectively - it's so ridiculously over-the-top - but I'd like to see a stellar cast pull it off.
"Doctor Who means never having to say you're kidding." - Bocaj
77 frog7535th Feb 2012 08:02:09 PM from CT and/or MA
[up]Apparently what you are thinking is what the directors are thinking.

On the more personal side of things, a friend of mine who I've never really seen in a proper acting role is in it. Not sure as who, though. Someone minor who dies pretty early, I think? During the Super Bowl, which he had no interest in, he was busy comparing his paper script with a PDF, because he'd dropped the script pages and gotten them all mixed up and because they were all three-hole-punched, the page numbers were gone! I hope he got that sorted out all right...

edited 5th Feb '12 8:02:19 PM by frog753

Flora Segunda | World Made by Hand | Monster Blood Tattoo

^You should read these series.
78 TheHandle1st Mar 2012 09:57:32 AM from Barcelona , Relationship Status: In love with love
The most dangerous thing...
Shakespeare. I don't get it. Literally: I can hardly understand a sentence of what he writes without the help of a copiously annotated guide. His metaphors confuse me in the extreme, I don't get the rhythm of the rhyme, and it generally just makes me very uncomfortable. Especially the comedies: I really don't understand Midsummer Night Dream at all.
Upon the highest thrones of the world, we are still sitting on our asses.
What's not to get? It's about some love triangles that get thrown out of wack due to a love potion, and a bad actor gets turned into a donkey and nearly gets laid by a fairy queen.

Eh. I find that As You Like It is much funnier anyway.

On another note, as a singer, I feel I should point out that there have been some great art songs based Shakespeare texts, mainly the song texts he wrote for the plays. There are numerous settings of "O Mistress Mine" (Twelfth Night), "Fear No More" (Cymbeline), and "It Was a Lover And His Lass" (As You Like It).

edited 1st Mar '12 10:50:26 AM by Pannic

80 frog7532nd Mar 2012 08:22:48 PM from CT and/or MA
Ok, here we go. My report, as per usual. I just saw our Titus Andronicus, and it really was bloody hilarious! After seeing how well Narm Charm and Refuge in Audacity can be deployed to its advantage, I don't see how I could ever take it seriously again. Taken seriously it would be inherently too narmy and incredibly depressing in a way that would bring it down, but not taking it seriously elevates it to a wonderful level of black comedy. Our Titus himself was the most normal-acting of the main cast...everyone else nudged their performance in some direction or another that made them funny. Marcus was always loud and overdramatic, Lucius was extraordinarily bored with everything (really well done and especially hilarious), Young Lucius took the idea of a gleeful little kid amidst all this to its logical conclusion...etc. People flipped people off. Just before Demetrius and Chiron cut off Lavinia's hands (no rape involved, see below), the guy who played Aaron randomly turned up with a guitar and started playing/singing ''I Wanna Hold Your Hand", this was apparently added half an hour before this particular performance.

Let's see...we cross-cast a great many people...Aemilius was genderflipped to Aemilia but this didn't mean much. On the other hand, we both cross-cast Saturninus and genderflipped to Saturnina, referred to as Empress but also as Lord, and since she still took Tamora as queen, than effectively Rome was ruled by lesbians, but it basically worked fine. Lavinia's rape was cut, turned to essentially implied rape if anything. As such, instead of Chiron posing as the spirit of Rape, it's changed to Sin, and also Titus killing Lavinia makes a lot less sense. Also, Martius and...Mutius, I think...(wait no, it's someone else, not sure who) it's never made clear that they're Titus's sons. I'm talking about the two guys who discover the body of Bassianus in the pit. They're very much Those Two Guys and totally stole the background of any scene they were in.

The final banquet scene was absolutely hilarious. Titus, who came in with the pies wearing a chef's hat and apron, stabs Lavinia like normal but then hits Tamora over the head with a rolling pin to kill her, whereby Saturnina kills him with it, whereby Lucius nonchalantly kills her by hitting her over the head with a fish. Throughout what comes afterwards, Young Lucius loots the bodies and the food from the table, and Lucius keeps eating the pie like nothing unusual has happened. And Marcus's longwindedness drives a random Goth and Aemilia to start drinking.

It worked. It absolutely worked. There isn't as much comedy in the first half because there isn't as much going on, or as much dying. But despite what a mixed review in one of the school papers said, it works. The next thing I have to report on is a somewhat less official production of Cymbeline directed by she who played the Clown in Titus, but I don't know when that is.

edited 2nd Mar '12 8:23:18 PM by frog753

Flora Segunda | World Made by Hand | Monster Blood Tattoo

^You should read these series.
Unchanging Avatar.
That sounds brilliant. Way to use a classic in an interesting way.
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
82 TheHandle3rd Mar 2012 08:12:26 PM from Barcelona , Relationship Status: In love with love
The most dangerous thing...
One thing I utterly hate about plays is how utterly transient they are. I WANT TO SEE PERFORMANCES LIKE THESE! Why did the world need to wait like three decades to get to see a movie version of Sweeny Todd? It's incredibly depressing to hear that there was an awesome play at a location that was unaccessible to me, and that now it was closed, and won't be played again. At least, with books that are out of print, they still exist somewhere.
Upon the highest thrones of the world, we are still sitting on our asses.
Unchanging Avatar.
I thought about putting a philosophical comment in. I'd talk about how art reflects life, and how that transient nature of plays demonstrates the transient nature of our own lives/society/reality.

Then I thought about it. It is annoying.
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
84 Yuanchosaan4th Mar 2012 01:46:28 AM from Australia , Relationship Status:
antic disposition
^"The purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature..." tongue

It is irritating, though I can see why the issue exists - witnessing a performance onstage is very different from watching one onscreen. At least the larger companies, such as the RSC, usually release performances on DVD now.

What I wouldn't give to have seen the Ian Mc Kellen and Patrick Stewart version of Waiting for Godot...

edited 4th Mar '12 1:47:40 AM by Yuanchosaan

"Doctor Who means never having to say you're kidding." - Bocaj
85 TheHandle4th Mar 2012 04:23:54 PM from Barcelona , Relationship Status: In love with love
The most dangerous thing...
Upon the highest thrones of the world, we are still sitting on our asses.
Unchanging Avatar.
Why would you tell me such a thing ever existed? Why?

I'm so upset now. Mirror up to nature, my foot.

Trying to think now of what performance ever I would rather have seen. And I can't.
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
87 Yuanchosaan6th Mar 2012 12:52:28 AM from Australia , Relationship Status:
antic disposition
^^Brilliant video. I'm ashamed to have nothing to offer but disappointment and Hamlet quotes.
"Doctor Who means never having to say you're kidding." - Bocaj
Unchanging Avatar.
That video is a great thing, though. I can almost forget the past glory of Godot...
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
89 Mort0813th Apr 2012 09:47:33 PM from Oklahoma , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Pirate AND writer!
I'm currently in a production of Twelfth Night, and I've decided that A Midsummer Night's Dream actually makes more sense. Yes, really.

I used to like Romeo and Juliet. Then I studied it in school and realized that it explicitly says in the text that they fall in love based on each other's looks. And then I started wanting them to die. evil grin
90 Exelixi13th Apr 2012 10:10:04 PM from Alchemist's workshop , Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Romeo and Juliet: a parody, even though nobody seems to realise this.
Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Romeo and Juliet is about two kids who get killed because of their own stupidity.

Of the tragedies of his I'm familiar with (Macbeth, King Lear, Hamlet, Julius Caeser), it's definitely my least favorite.

I friggin love King Lear, though.
92 frog75317th Apr 2012 07:27:26 AM from CT and/or MA
Well, the Cymbeline production at my school, which is somewhat less official than our earlier Titus was, is coming this weekend. Description from the Facebook event page:

An evil queen, a banished lover, mistaken identity and false accusations. Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, at equal moments intense, charismatic, and hilarious, explores questions of love and identity. - How do you choose between love for another and love for your country? - When and how do we accept types of love that do not fit into neatly constructed categories? At the end of each performance, a panel (speakers TBD) will mediate a dialogue about gender and sexuality in this interpretation of Shakespeare featuring a lesbian couple as the main romantic relationship.

Ok, so the formatting didn't quite come through right, but whatever. I am honestly not sure if the director or her girlfriend are even acting in the show or not. Also, I know nothing about this particular play, so I can't answer questions in advance.

edited 17th Apr '12 7:29:04 AM by frog753

Flora Segunda | World Made by Hand | Monster Blood Tattoo

^You should read these series.
93 phoenixdaughterAM17th Apr 2012 07:29:00 AM from Cursed college , Relationship Status: Wishing you were here
Wiping All Out
This is actually what my Renessance chapter in the textbook I'm in seems to talk almost all about. Or maybe it's the teacher...ether way, no worries here. [lol]
Unchanging Avatar.
Hey, anybody have any advice for playing Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream? I'm kinda blanking on ways to make the character a little more sympathetic.
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
95 TheHandle21st Sep 2012 03:04:32 AM from Barcelona , Relationship Status: In love with love
The most dangerous thing...
Rom and July weren't stupid, just very unlucky.
Upon the highest thrones of the world, we are still sitting on our asses.
96 Balmung3rd Oct 2012 10:04:34 PM from Omaha, Nebraska , Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Nah, Romeo was a horny idiot. They were also unlucky, but Romeo was not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Just saw a campus production of Titus Andronicus. Pretty good, if extremely violent (though I knew that going into it). Pretty funny in some of the less stabby parts as well. Patterns I have noticed in Shakespeare: (almost) everyone of any importance seems to be insane and/or dead by the end of most of these things; there's always a comic relief duo (though it's pretty unnerving to have them also be violent rapists like in TA)
Hamlet has two duos: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern and the gravediggers. Though some of them come alone - Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (aka the best character in the play), the Fool in King Lear, etc.
98 Balmung4th Oct 2012 12:08:29 AM from Omaha, Nebraska , Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Just how often does he kill off the comic relief? Because based on my small sample, I'm pretty sure it's just about all the time.
It seems like he does. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern die off-stage, Casca the poet gets lynched by a mob, Mercutio gets stabbed... the Fool just sort of... stops showing up in the play.
100 TheHandle7th Oct 2012 12:21:21 AM from Barcelona , Relationship Status: In love with love
The most dangerous thing...
That's a pretty radical take on Shoo Out the Clowns.
Upon the highest thrones of the world, we are still sitting on our asses.

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