lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Well, as [livejournal.com profile] angevin2 reminded me, this is 30 Days of Shakespeare, not necessarily 30 Consecutive Days of Shakespeare. So, back to it.

It's really hard to define 'dialogue', as I discovered while trying to come up with answers for this day. Is it literally a piece of dialogue -- two lines, maybe three or four in total? Or can it encompass most of what we would think of as a scene even if it's not listed as such in the text?

Day #18: Your favourite dialogue - Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet

Much as I adore the stichomythic exchanges peppered throughout the First Tetralogy (including [livejournal.com profile] a_t_rain's answer, which is one of my absolute favourites), I expect everyone is thoroughly sick of hearing about those plays, so a bit of variety wouldn't go amiss. Three selections here, in no particular order.

Much Ado About Nothing, Act IV, Scene I, the final section.

[livejournal.com profile] a_t_rain has pinpointed everything I love about this scene, so I will just refer you all to her entry, which is wonderful and detailed and says everything I would have wanted to say only better :)

I love how many unexpected turns this particular dialogue takes -- Beatrice is grieving, she's furious, she's moved by Benedick's declaration but so very -- rightfully -- angry when he refuses to back it up with action. Much like Juliet, she has no interest in pretty words. The man she loves will rise to the occasion and defend a wronged woman even against his closest friends. But what makes me happiest is that Benedick does it.

Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene IV

This exchange between Mercutio and Romeo, when played properly, is hysterically funny because they are both such utter dorks who love puns and bad sex jokes. Also, unexpectedly poignant, I think, but that is because I, like any sensible person, believe Mercutio fancies Romeo, and that Romeo is either completely oblivious or aware of it but unsure of what to do, especially now that Juliet has entered the picture.

Also, it is far more fun when Mercutio actually tries to bite Romeo on 'I will bite thee by the ear for that jest', which he did in the production I directed.

Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

I love the exchange here between Hamlet and Polonius at least in part because of the RSC production that had me nearly falling out of my seat from laughter. It's also one of the few instances where I like the Q1 placement; having this exchange right after 'To be or not to be' and Hamlet's rejection of Ophelia (which Polonius has already seen) makes the entire thing both completely laughable and far, far creepier. Also, Hamlet is kind of a jerk, but we knew that already.

I can think of half a dozen other bits of dialogue that I love probably as much as these, but I will stop now. :)

Full List of Questions )
lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Because we were travelling yesterday and I did not have time.

Day #16: Your first play you saw - Macbeth

I'm not counting film versions, so the first Shakespeare play I ever saw was in March of 1998 when I visited London for the first time. My father and I had just arrived on the red-eye that morning and happened to be wandering round Shaftesbury Avenue when we saw a billboard for a production of Macbeth at the Queen's Theatre. And that, as they say, was that.

Rufus Sewell (who I had, and still have, quite a thing for) was playing Macbeth, with Sally Dexter as Lady Macbeth. To be honest, there are large chunks of the production that I do not remember, but I recall the banquet scene being brilliant, along with pretty much any scene where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth shared the stage -- their chemistry was positively sizzling, which is odd, considering Lady M. spends most of her time telling her husband off for being unmanly.

Rather to my shame, I did end up falling asleep during the scene where Macduff and Malcolm talk about nothing while watching grass grow, but I have no idea if there is any way to make that scene interesting without cutting about half of it. Also, I can partly blame jetlag since it was our first day in London.

Day #17: Your favourite speech - Romeo and Juliet and 3 Henry VI

Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene II )

First of all, this speech is possibly one of the sexiest in Shakespeare, at least as far as I'm concerned. The imagery is just glorious, and I love all the different facets we see of Juliet here -- how incredibly alive she is and glorying in the prospect of everything she has waiting for her -- and, of course, the horrible irony of the fight the audience has just witnessed that is about to completely shatter her world and her expectations.

And now for something completely different...3 Henry VI, Act V, Scene VI )

I came very close to picking the monologue from Act III, Scene II, but I'd already talked about that on Day 3 when I discussed Richard in detail. This soliloquy is in some ways an extension of that, but there is an incredible, corrosive bitterness here that's muted in the earlier speech, or at least channelled into that almost playful anticipation with which Richard plots his coup d'état. Here, he's standing over the bloody corpse of Henry VI (the same corpse that will bleed in his presence in Richard III), having taken the first two steps toward the crown.

It is also entirely possible that my love for this speech comes from Jonathan Slinger's performance in the RSC Histories Cycle. Here's what I said about it after seeing it for the first time:

Henry's death scene was utterly riveting. So many links to Richard II's death, down to the circle of blood when he was dragged offstage. But Richard's monologue after the murder -- wow. Just wow. His bitterness, how trapped he seems to be, it comes out so strongly here, even more so than in the long speech in 3.2. His face and form have become who he is but not by choice. Everyone assumes he is evil because he is deformed. I actually felt genuinely sorry for him, in spite of Henry's body lying there in front of him. There was so much self-loathing in that speech. And then he dragged Henry -- poor, helpless Henry -- offstage, and everyone suddenly remembered he's sort of a homicidal maniac.

What's also worth noting is that Richard is the only person in the entire trilogy who never gets the benefit of the doubt from Henry VI. Everybody else -- York, Suffolk, Margaret, Edward, even Beaufort -- at least gets some moment in which Henry tries to understand them or sympathise with them. Richard never gets that. And, granted, perhaps that is because this is the only scene where they're together for any length of time, and Richard has just killed Henry's son, but Henry is just so mean to him it's almost astonishing. Especially since it's Henry -- sweet, unassuming, adorable, faily Henry.

...wow, that went on longer than I'd expected.

Full List of Questions )
lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #15: The first play you read - Romeo and Juliet

In which I attempt to articulate why I love Romeo and Juliet. )

Also, even though [livejournal.com profile] angevin2 noted this in her post about romantic scenes, I had to add it here because every single time I read these lines, I get chills:

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

Those are among my favourite lines in Shakespeare, but they are neither a couplet, nor a speech, nor a single line, so I am going to list them here anyway.

Full List of Questions )
lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #4: Your favourite heroine

Again, more than one. Because this is me.

Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. I love how she is simultaneously mature and immature, I love how she doesn't take Romeo's bullshit in the balcony scene, and this is one of the most gorgeous speeches of all time. I love Mercutio's raw wit and Benvolio's sweetness and how Friar Laurence is an adorable failbot, but Juliet is, to me, the play's heart and emotional core. And it's her lines on waking up to find Romeo dead that made me cry buckets the first time I encountered this play.

Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. How can you not love Beatrice? She's clever, witty, independent, and fiercely loyal. The scene between her and Benedick after Hero's failed wedding gets me every single time. I would eat his heart in the market-place. There is nothing about Beatrice that doesn't just make me happy.

Full List of Questions )

Meh.

Mar. 29th, 2006 08:51 am
lareinenoire: (Wilde Truth)
Even more tired than yesterday. Got home at 3AM instead of 2AM. Oy. At least I can sleep in for a few more hours tomorrow.

But we have lights! And sound! ...and exhausted actors.

Tonight is tech run for the first half, and full run for the second, which is still giving me problems. I've realised I like the first half of R&J much better than the second. And not just because of Mercutio. The second half is like a large downward spiral, which, for some odd reason, moves far slower than it ought to.

At the moment, the halves are basically the same length. This worries me, on account of the audience. But I love the intermission falling just after Mercutio and Tybalt die, both thematically and in terms of a rather heartbreaking tableau as the lights go down. So the audience will just have to deal.

For those in the Columbus area, performance times are as follows:

Thursday 30 March, 8:00 PM
Saturday 1 April, 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM

All performances will be held in Hitchcock Hall Auditorium (Rm 131), on Ohio State's campus. Admission is free, so don't claim poverty as your excuse.
lareinenoire: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rosamund and I are writing a scene centred on a production of Romeo and Juliet. This led me to ponder.

I've often said that I won't direct. I'm frankly terrified of the thought. But if I had to direct anything, R&J would be it. I know the play backwards and forwards, I have very specific ideas regarding characterisation that I *never* get to see...and I keep complaining about every version I've seen so far.

It's worth considering, I suppose.

Though I think I'll wait to hear Kai's account of Macbeth before I consider any forays into the terrifying world of directorship.

Plus, I can't imagine a more perfect Mercutio than the one I'm writing. ;) Right, [livejournal.com profile] rosamund? Nor a more perfect Romeo and Juliet. I daresay that's what comes from writing the entire thing yourself.

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