lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
I don't watch enough television for those TV memes, so I am going to do the Shakespeare one that has been going round.

My one caveat: I am indecisive. No, seriously. I am. Most of these questions will have at least two answers if not possibly more. I am just like that.

Day #1: Your favourite play

Short Answer: Othello and Richard III )
lareinenoire: (Crystal Ball)
First of all, apologies for the delay. First I was ill, and then I was travelling, and now I have time to transcribe my many, many notes.

To preface, I know a lot of people who saw this production and were disappointed, including several of my friends. I absolutely loved it -- but, this was my first experience seeing Hamlet performed live. I've seen three of the films (Olivier, Zeffirelli, and Branagh), and I've read it several times over (most recently with [livejournal.com profile] cesario's brilliant recaps), but seeing it performed was amazing, and I felt like I was rediscovering why I used to love this play so very, very much. I still do, but I think it's been spoiled by an excess of criticism, and watching it was astonishingly liberating.

Anyway. Here we go.

Here there be ramblings. Very long and probably full of unnecessary detail. )

I do feel bad posting this, knowing that anyone who sees this production between now and Christmas won't be seeing David Tennant, but I do want to say that Edward Bennett made a fantastic Laertes (he made me like Laertes, something I never would have predicted), so I can only assume he'll be a wonderful Hamlet as well.
lareinenoire: (Studious Veronica)
I'd like to preface by admitting that I haven't read Love's Labours Lost in a very long time. I saw it once before, in Louisville in July, 2001, and enjoyed it far more than I would have expected, since my previous attempts to read it had met with much frustration. So, while I know Gregory Doran made a substantial number of cuts to the script (he couldn't have done otherwise and managed a running time under three hours with interval), I'm not altogether sure what cuts those were.

Anyway, without further ado, here we go.

Longish review below )

In all, I really enjoyed the production, despite a few flaws, and found it quite thought-provoking. Not to mention it was visually gorgeous.
lareinenoire: (Studious Veronica)
I didn't take as many notes this time, as I was mainly jotting down things I hadn't noticed before, or things that I thought were different.

The first set of reviews is here.

They've more or less transplanted the entire set into the Roundhouse, although the theatre itself is a different shape. My seats, which I thought were going to be extremely high up, and would have been at the Courtyard, turned out to be quite good (I was front row circle, far to stage right).

Henry VI, Part I )

Henry VI, Part II )

Henry VI, Part III )

But now they're over. It makes me so very sad, even though logically I know that it frees up the histories so that other companies can technically do them. I am still sad.
lareinenoire: (Default)
Disclaimer: These are long and they ramble a lot. I'm taking them more or less verbatim from my notes, though getting rid of bad grammar and things I don't think about when I'm scribbling madly. ;) I'm also adding in proper act and scene numbers so that the descriptions make more sense. Due to the vagaries of train travel -- as I mentioned in the previous entry -- I missed all of Act I and the first two scenes of Act II of Henry IV, Part I.

My review of Richard II, which I saw on 20 November 2007, is here.

Henry IV, Part I )
Henry IV, Part II )
Henry V )
Henry VI, Part I )
Henry VI, Part II )
Henry VI, Part III )
Richard III )

I do have overall thoughts as well, but most of them are so tied up with my dissertation that I'll spare you and put them into my Shakespeare chapter instead.
lareinenoire: (Hal)
I'm prefacing this with the admission that I don't actually know Richard II that well; most of my work has been on the other tetralogy. So some of the things I noticed might be completely obvious to people who know the play better than I do. Also, it's entirely possible that I might forget to mention things, so let me know if I miss something important.

Long review below the cut. )

As I said last night, it was a fantastic production all round, and I'm thrilled that I got the chance to see it.
lareinenoire: (Bitch)
After reading two articles referencing aforementioned chronicle and finishing the first series of Doctor Who, my new mental image of Edward IV is Captain Jack.

In a mad sort of way, it works. Both are very good in wartime but somewhat problematic in peacetime, both are incredibly charming and will sleep with anything that moves, and both are generally cleverer than they are given credit for being, although if Jack dies of a heart attack after overeating himself into a stupor, it would be truly awful.

ETA 2:10 AM: The articles used segments of the chronicle to posit that Edward IV may have been bisexual. I'd accept it as a possibility, though not based on those particular segments, which may well have been using 'love' in a nonsexual way. Who knows? Subtext, how I love thee.

Why doesn't Edward IV get any love? Cut to spare the uninterested. )

Anyway, all of this is in an effort to avoid writing that introduction to my dissertation outline that justifies its existence. I have a page of semi-incoherent ramblings about appropriation of women as characters that is only partly related to the cultural framework of queenship but has far more to do with the twisting of those frameworks to fit the needs of propaganda...which is the right idea, but not in any way that makes sense.

On a completely unrelated note, I did notice this in the film, but it is rather staggering how good Joaquin Phoenix sounds when he sings Johnny Cash.

ETA 2:10 AM: More thoughts added under the cut.
lareinenoire: (Elegance)
THIS is why I'm writing a dissertation on literary afterlives of historical figures. Because people think it's interesting! Because it provokes arguments! Because [livejournal.com profile] angevin2 occasionally makes awesome fingerpuppet videos involving said literary afterlives of historical figures.

(And because I'm a huge nerd. But moving on...)

This whole thing began after several people (myself among them) made joking comments about Shakespeare's Richard III being a Tudor hackjob. For me, it was joking. I don't know about anyone else. She then posted a very clear and interesting response that points out the flaws in the 'hackjob' theory, linked above. Personally, I'd love to see [livejournal.com profile] junediamanti and [livejournal.com profile] a_t_rain's thoughts on the subject.

For those who are curious, ramblings regarding the late and occasionally lamented Richard III and Tudor Hackjobbery follow )

In other news, note to self re: Oxford weather -- It doesn't matter how warm it is in the morning. Nor does it matter that you're planning to spend several hours in a library. It's the middle of October. Wear a coat. Because Murphy's Law demands that the day you leave the house wearing a sleeveless top is the day you return to the house in very cold rain.

At least I've started keeping the umbrella with me at all times.

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