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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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February 28, 2017


I would, gently in case the law has changed, remind you that in Shakespeare's day all female roles were played by men. That being said I too concur the vague idea of "high concept" in which a director assumes they can improve on Shakespeare is something of a curse. Maybe they can on everything but the language and the admittedly sparse state direction. But I have not personally seen it done.

I have a decision to make. This year's Stratford Festival features Romeo and Juliet (which I have many times seen), Twelve Night (which I haven't) and Timon of Athens (also not yet seen). Timon I fear is to be done in a modern setting with business suited actors. I am probably going to risk it. In Stratford they don't mess with the basics.

Parenthetically I have always loved the concluding lines of Timon:

Here lie I, Timon, who alive, all living men did hate,
Pass by, and curse thy fill, but pass and stay not here thy gait.

Shakespeare knew how to tell you not to let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Specifically the theater critics of his age.

Alas, I am unable to respond this morning because I'm off to London to see "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" - that's the Good News, the Bad News is that I agree with you, er, and Mr. Bloom, of course!

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