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"Am relieved to find their Cordelia's integrity unconvincing."
August 3, 2014 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Performances of Shakespeare are common enough that various reimaginings are often deemed necessary. One of the latest? King Lear With Sheep.
posted by rhymes with carrots (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?
posted by kyrademon at 8:29 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


I saw this production of (Queen) Lear in London recently. It was pretty good.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:34 AM on August 3


Something something Ira Glass
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:40 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


When Alasdair, as Gloucester, says the word “mutiny,” Edgar-sheep protests his innocence with a harsh bleat, and next to me Heather sinks to the ground.

I have to admit I would have liked to have watched this.
posted by figurant at 8:50 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Deemed by whom? I treat imaginative renderings of Shakespeare with suspicion until they are proven innocent. Too easy for a director to make a name for himself by dubious attempts at making a staging - stagy. Of course, I am a fogey.

(That said, I did quite like some of the Shakespeare Re-Told ventures, most especially The Taming of the Shrew. And James McAvoy is always worth watching. Catch it if you can.)
posted by IndigoJones at 8:58 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Not sure what I think about the artistic vision here, but the article is hilarious:

As everyone is lighting up as they wait around on sofas for the sheep to arrive I wonder if this art collective’s warehouse is actually privately owned. It turns out it is, but people would be smoking anyway if it weren’t. I guiltily recall the ‘no smoking’ signs at the farm and I’m thankful when sheep arrive, mainly because the smell of their shit finally masks out that of our cigarettes and my self-reproach.

This is a bit confusing, though:

We are, Heather writes, casting one man and eight sheep to question assumptions about the stage, picking up on the thoughts of playwrights such as Beckett. She says it’s an allegorical hate letter, “a deeply nihilistic satire of the theatrical universe.” The sheep are “an oblique comment on the silence at the play’s centre."

...In the real Independent the next day, I’m quoted as saying the play is a hate letter to theatre. What I actually said was “Heather just texted me to remind me to say it’s a hate letter to theatre, but she’s joking.”


For what it's worth, two of the greatest Shakespeare adaptations I've seen were a brilliant NYC/Raleigh production of Henry V with trapezes (more here) and the Tiny Ninja Theater's one-man production of Macbeth with one actor doing all the voices while sitting at a table manipulating Fischer-Price toys and foot-controlled lighting. They only allowed a couple dozen folks in for each performance and gave out little plastic opera glasses to help you get close to the action. Both were astonishingly well-done and thoughtful approaches to the rich original texts.
posted by mediareport at 9:03 AM on August 3


One recalls that the most popular Shakespeare of the Victorian era was written by two Lambs.
posted by vathek at 9:16 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Hah, I totally thought of some cool Shakespeare retold-ish ideas (I'm renting those right now, IndigoJones: loved Much Ado) the other day. Alas, I cannot act and am old and uncute and am not a theater person because I can't act, so the chances of my getting them produced are none. Dammit.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:19 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Hah, I totally thought of some cool Shakespeare retold-ish ideas (I'm renting those right now, IndigoJones: loved Much Ado) the other day. Alas, I cannot act and am old and uncute and am not a theater person because I can't act, so the chances of my getting them produced are none. Dammit.

Those who cannot act are SO VALUABLE in theater because we can do things behind the scenes! And direct! And write! And seriously, if you have vision for restaging of Shakespeare and it's cool, local theater companies may love you because Shakespeare doesn't require royalties and his name is kind of known, so you can get audiences.
posted by xingcat at 9:23 AM on August 3


I thought Don Novello already did something like this, but I was wrong. But there are very good reasons for thinking Don Novello already did something like this.
posted by lagomorphius at 9:51 AM on August 3


so the chances of my getting them produced are none.

Let us be glass half full. Slim to none. Like most theater.

But, you know - plenty of theater people in the blue. Not me, but plenty others. See if you can network a bit, plant a few seeds, strike a few sparks. Worst that happens is - none.

Well, that, and if it's a hit, interminable lawsuits....
posted by IndigoJones at 10:01 AM on August 3


Yeah, but I have no experience or connections (and in all honestly, I do want to act and NOT be behind the scenes, I just...suck at being anyone else but me), and in my experience of trying to get in with theater people, I couldn't do it unless I got cast in a play. I have been looking around for opportunities and am not getting anywhere. The one theater in town that would take new plays isn't taking any and last they said "check back in early 2014 to see when we are," and I can totally understand why you're not going to get ticket sales for something not established. If I were them, I would tell me no.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:19 AM on August 3


And then there's the episode of Just Shoot Me that adapts King Lear to a half-hour sitcom format.
posted by Bromius at 2:16 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


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