lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
So, quite by accident yesterday evening, I ended up catching one of the preview performances of Henry VIII at the Folger. It was a production I'd wanted to see, but hadn't quite figured out when I'd manage it. Through a nice series of coincidences, I was spending yesterday afternoon in the Folger and after finishing dinner, realised I had enough time to get back for the evening performance. So, there we go.

Short version: SEE IT IF YOU CAN. IT IS GREAT.

Fairly long and extremely impressionistic review below. )

To conclude, a striking production that uses visual and thematic cues to hold a disjointed play together. I definitely recommend it. Running through November 20.

Oh, and the Henry VIII exhibit in the Library is also really good. I drooled over lots of books, including a 1548 edition of Le miroir de l'âme pêcheresse as translated by Elizabeth I. It's TINY. And ADORABLE.

Also, I sniggered every time I saw something I'd quoted in my dissertation. That made for a lot of sniggering. They sadly did not have a copy of Hall out, though they did have a Holinshed, and a facsimile of the 1550 frontispiece to Hall, with its miraculous all-male family tree (except for Elizabeth of York, Margaret Beaufort, and 'Eleanor, doughter to the Earl of March', who I am fairly certain was actually named Anne; bad Grafton!). So, well worth having a look if you're around.
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 [ 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: (Default)

October 2010

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