Tuesday, January 06, 2009

LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST: 8--Good enough--though I don't think the Regency setting adds anything useful to the play. A good LLL depends on an able and suitable actor to play the loquacious Berowne and in this production Mike Gwilym does an acceptable job--though he seems to have so much make-up on that one can barely see his face.

RICHARD III: 9.85--At last a tragedy that takes the same high mark as the comedy, "Measure For Measure"! Nick Cook is superb as Richard and all the other roles are played with aplomb. This production will come as something of a revelation to anyone who remembers this drama best in the Lawrence Olivier film version. The Olivier production cut out a good third of the text and made a simple morality play of a complex drama. In this almost complete edition, the psychological realism has been restored and it emerges as one of the true jewels in the Shakespearean crown.

CYMBELINE: 8.25--Apparently this was one of Shakespeare's most performed plays through the 18th century, but subsequently declined in popularity. This BBC production is highly entertaining, and Helen Mirren--so ill-at-ease in "As You Like It" does a great job in the role of Imogen.


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