Monday, 28 December 2009

To be or not to be…in Shakespeare

After you’ve watched the wonderful documentary mentioned below, you can stay with 4oD and watch this one about acting in Shakespeare It’s funny, illuminating and touching, and you can catch an amazing glimpse of Donald Sutherland as Fortinbras. But hurry: you only have 14 days left to see this little gem.

A few random thoughts:
1) I was reminded of how monotonous Ian McKellen’s voice is and of how much I dislike him – most of the time. (Sorry, Sir Ian, but, yes, you are right, for the first 30 years of your career, you were rubbish. And later too, actually…)

2) When an actor says he learned his craft by watching Tim Pigott-Smith, Greg Hicks and Sam West instead of Ian Richardson, David Warner, Robert Stephens, Derek Jacobi, Alan Howard et al, you know he doesn’t have such a good ear for language and you are old (see below for confirmation).

3) Although once described by someone who knew as the most boring actor in the world, Patrick Stewart is also one of the most endearing (and I’ve long forgiven him for nearly killing me – see my Slap of the Day post
here for the story).

4) I did see Eileen Atkins as Rosalind at Stratford, in 1973: it didn’t make me want to become an actress, nor – as in the case of Gregory Doran (don’t you just love his hair!) – a theatre director: it was one of the worst productions of the play I was going to see in my long theatregoing career. I loved the late lamented Buzz Goodbody, but she was misguided there: it seemed obvious to me (and to others) that having Rosalind wear trousers from the start wouldn’t work when the plot required for her to put on male attire.

5) I want to know what Imogen Stubbs uses on her face to remain looking so youthful: she’s hardly changed since I first saw her at the RSC over 20 years ago. I can testify she does look young: I saw her the other day in my local TK Maxx. Spooky.

1 comment:

Lulu said...

Re Imogen, perhaps living on a houseboat does wonders for the complexion. But I know what you mean...and she's had children as well! Is it the hair maybe? Did you get a good look at her face?