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[personal profile] spooky_miss
I’ve seen three Shakespeare plays this year so far, two of which were amazing, but the most recent one was quite disappointing really – although something on the same evening kind of made up for it! I admit that one of the appealing things about going to see these plays is who has been in them – although I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, as getting famous people to play these parts introduces people who would never have usually gone to the theatre to seeing plays and then hopefully they’ll go on and see other things without famous people in them. I have quite a lack of knowledge of Shakespeare, which I feel quite bad about – as far as I can remember we only studied two plays at school (Macbeth in year 7 and Twelfth Night in year 11) so I don’t know the details of many plays beyond these. However I have seen more plays recently, both at the theatre and on TV, which I’ve mainly enjoyed, so I will keep looking out for more. In the theatre I’ve seen The Taming of the Shrew (years ago, because I love the film 10 Things I Hate About You, which is based on the play), Macbeth (at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1999 – it was a bit scary!), Richard III (with Kevin Spacey – amazing!), Much Ado About Nothing (with David Tennant and Catherine Tate, they were great!) and The Tempest.
 
Now, I think out of those The Tempest is the most “fantasy” one, and its also the one which I didn’t like. It had Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Lyndhurst in it, and I thought Ralph Fiennes would be just as good as Kevin Spacey was, but he really wasn’t. I didn’t really feel that he had any “presence” on the stage, and didn’t really bring anything more to the role than any other actor would. I suppose I tend to think that film actors are somehow “better” than “just” stage actors, but that’s not necessarily true. After all, film actors can do each scene 20 times, whereas stage actors have to get it right straight away! With regards to the Tempest, I found the story quite confusing, and it really dragged at the end. None of the characters really caught my attention (like, for example, Kevin Spacey as Richard III did), and I didn’t really like the fantasy type bits. Also it seemed to have songs in it, which I didn’t realise, haha, and the person singing them couldn’t sing…I don’t know if that was the point, but it wasn’t very nice. In contrast, I also didn’t really know the story of Much Ado About Nothing, but the characters were engaging and kept your attention. David Tennant and Catherine Tate have a really great chemistry between them, and so you could really believe that they were the characters they were, and that they secretly loved each other and were tricked into admitting it!! That was great, and so funny. Kevin Spacey in Richard III was just such an imposing presence on the stage, and the whole play was really put together very well with some very striking parts, for example the use of drums by the whole cast at one point was great.
 
Actually, I think I’ve also seen Hamlet and Macbeth on TV, both with quite minimalist sets and with good actors in them – David Tennant in Hamlet and Patrick Stewart in Macbeth – so I think it must have been more the structure and story of the Tempest which I didn’t like, rather than Shakespeare as a whole, which is good! I really need to read up on more of his work though, and go to see more, as whenever I go I feel really uncultured, haha!

ooooooooooohh........and I also forget to say what made the night we went to see the Tempest amazing.......we following Vivienne Westwood down the street for about 500 metres :D :D I first saw her crossing the road near to Trafalgar Square, at first I was drawn to her hair (which is bright orange!) and then I realised who it was...i think I went a bit star struck!! It was so amazing to see her, just walking down the street like a normal person, I mean I know she's a normal person, but I would have thought that she would have had people looking at her or something, but it didn't look like anyone had noticed. Apart from me and my friend anyway! It was so great. I'm kind of glad I didn't get into any situation where I had to speak to her though, as I think I might have been a bit speechless!! :)
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Ruth

September 2011

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