HOW AM I GOING TO DO IT?

Monday Magazine's Shakespeare aficionado talks producing the Legend's works

YOUYeah, you’re the director.  So how are you doing the play?

ME – I am going to do it very well.

YOU – But where are you going to set the play to get a new angle on the story?  People can’t take Shakespeare straight.  We need it relevant for now.

ME – Not important.

YOU – Explain!

MEI have seen lots of  Shakespeare plays up-dated so they are more related  to our own times.  Okay, but-

YOU – I once saw “Julius Caesar” set in Mussolini’s Italy!  Brutus and Cassius wore red armbands to show their leftist resistance to fascism.

ME – There is the first mistake.  Brutus and Cassius were actually cranky  aristocrats who resented Caesar’s populist land reforms and free corn doles to the working plebs of Rome.

YOU – I did not know that.

ME – You like the show?

YOU – It sucked!

ME – Why?

YOU – The verse thing.  It was all babble after the first two lines!

ME – The director’s second mistake.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have done plays in different times and places.  I produced and directed “Macbeth” setting it in Nazi Germany with Hitler as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as Eva Braun.  It was a critical and commercial hit.

YOU – Buuut?

ME – I never let my “brilliant” re-set distract me from the main thrust of the original script.  I worked the actors hard on the sense of the verse and respected Old Will’s original intentions.  He had his message and I had mine.

YOU – I guess the comedies lend themselves better to modern times?

ME – They often do.  Comedy or tragedy it is vital not to direct the new setting all the while ignoring the demands of the original play.  It happens a lot.  You snub Olde Will?  He will turn hard and come back to bite you!

YOU – What’s the worst you’ve seen?

MEI was in a “Twelfth Night” production set in the Swing Era of Britain.  I had to secretly coach the actors in verse styles.  Their speeches were so slurred and confused they needed sub-titles.  The setting totally bombed.  It failed to dredge up any comic gold.  We got through it, just.

YOU – So, you are not against setting Shakespeare plays in different times?

ME – No.  I am doing “King Lear” in modern dress this summer.  But…

YOU – You are keeping to Shakespeare’s original intention?

ME – God, I hope so!

YOU – How about Donald Trump as Falstaff!

ME – Is there a copyright on it?

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Bill Gaston, Monique Gray Smith capture Victoria Book Prizes for 2018

Butler Book Prize and Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize winners collect $5,000 each

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read