Something these last posts made me think of (in conjunction with this Shakespeare Uncovered series on PBS)- It's interesting how various productions choose the costume/"setting" of the plays. Like besides the histories, it seems like Taming of the Shrew
and The Merry Wives of Windsor
are the plays that are most commonly staged in Renaissance attire (probably due to the kind of bawdy "Renaissance-faire aspect"). I guess Romeo and Juliet
too- probably because it has often been depicted in art and is thus identifiable with that time period.
I've also heard of productions of Shrew
and Two Gentleman of Verona
which have the setting of those parts of Northern Italy in the 1950s- with the feel of La Dolce Vita
. I think that might have to do with an interesting thing wherein the setting Shakespeare gave to the play means something to a modern audience. Like similarly, Scandinavians are stereotypically moody and introspective, which matches perfectly with the character of Hamlet
Not sure why but Shrew
also has a lot of Western stagings. Not sure if that is true of any other Shakespeare play.
RE the question of using Elizabethan dress, I'd expect that this is done the least with Julius Caesar
and Anthony and Cleopatra
- Not as familiar with stagings of the latter, but my guess is that both have actors in togas with relative frequency. I saw one production in either the late 1990s or early 2000s that had everyone dressed like then-current political figures in Washington. I've also seen advertised a more recent production which borrowed from House of Cards