Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shakespeare on the Prowl

Actor/Director Michael Pennington makes the case for school presentations of Shakespeare plays:
Aguecheek is the only part in Twelfth Night I have ever fancied taking myself.  I haven't done so, but my son has, in an entranced account of the play on a summer evening... in the walled Ashburnham Garden at Westminster School.  Amidst the straw wigs, the garish make-up and the under-rehearsed young blunderings, Shakespeare was somehow at large, taking new prisoners.  Such unexpected beauty is quite common when actors on the edge of adulthood (and not believing themselves actors) share unselfconsciously in an effort as great as football or choir singing.  Their burgeoning testosterone and adolescent melancholy served the play's painful lyricism as touchingly as I have ever seen.
That's from Twelfth Night: A User's Guide 18 (2000).  Earlier(17) he speaks of  "everything you know to be true about Shakesepeare--the emotional chiaroscuro, the humanity, the sense of travel."   Which just about gets it, not so?

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