The Case for the First Folio
For centuries, editors of Shakespeare's plays have conflated different published editions (quartos and folios
) in an attempt to create one true text as the writer intended. In this essay (.pdf file) Jonathan Bate, one of the editors of The RSC Shakespeare
makes the case that in fact what they're doing is editing together different drafts of the play originated by the bard at different times in his life attempting to make better dramatic sense. Essentially that none of the texts you studied at school are what Shakespeare intended to be performed at all. [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless
on Jan 25, 2008 -
Harold Pinter at 75.
In One for the Road
, the protagonist is Nicolas, a whisky-sodden interrogator who has brought in a family for questioning
(and, it is implied, raping and torturing). In the short, sharp shock of The New World Order
, we eavesdrop on a conversation between two torturers, held over the top of their mute, blindfolded victim's head ("We haven't even finished with him. We haven't begun."). In Ashes to Ashes
, the interrogation of Rebecca by Devlin takes a sinister turn as we learn that her ex-lover participated in state-sponsored violence. In Mountain Language
, a sadistic guard plays power games with a group of mountain dwellers, who are forbidden from speaking in anything but the language of the state. In Party Time
, Pinter lampoons the smug security of the middle classes, portraying an insufferably élite party which carries on regardless of the violence and terror on the streets outside.
Now, for Pinter's 75th birthday, some of the tormentors and the tormented so potently etched in his later plays are assembled together in a new dramatic work
with a musical setting by the composer James Clarke.
posted by matteo
on Oct 7, 2005 -
At what point did the muse disappear and become replaced by the dramaturg? "Scripts aren't written, they're rewritten", goes the cry from all the script gurus - all the literary managers, editors, producers, dramaturgs - not just in theatre but film, too. Why do they say this? Because their jobs depend on it. If scripts were left alone, what would they do?
Dominic Dromgoole writes about playwriting in the UK.
posted by Panfilo
on Dec 19, 2004 -
Want to see some great theater and learn a bit about our great system of justice and capital punishment? Then The Exonerated
may be the show for you.The other night I went to see The Exonerated, which has been playing Off Broadway since last fall and is also appearing in theaters around the country this year. Composed wholly from court records and interviews by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, this documentary drama recounts true tales of horror from the American criminal-justice system. The actors sit downstage and read their parts as the stories of six innocent citizens condemned to death row unfold. If this sounds like a worthy endeavor, it is; if it sounds dull or didactic, it isn’t.
posted by nofundy
on Jul 3, 2003 -
The Roundabout Theater postpones its Assassins revival.
This was probably the right decision, though for those who know the show--and that might not be many--it happens to address better than most things all the issues our country is currently facing. Check out Sondheim.com
where they've changed the page to simple text featuring perfectly fitting lyrics for the moment we're in.
posted by adrober
on Sep 16, 2001 -