Saturday, August 05, 2006

Random reviews

Oops, sorry about the missed day yesterday everyone! Misdated this post to August 2005.

First up, a mini-review of Summerfolk by Clive Barnes of the New York Post on October 3rd, 1999.

I was a little less enthusiastic over the National's new staging by Nunn of that darker-toned companion piece to Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard," Maxim Gorky's "Summerfolk."

Not much helped by Nick Dear's new and glibly modern translation, it missed that crepuscular Gorky magic achieved by David Jones' production for RSC a couple of decades back. But some performances - especially, again, Roger Allam and, as a young, lost and bewildered wife, Jennifer Ehle - shone out between the omnipresent birch trees of Christopher Oram's setting.

And a late review of Macbeth by librosopher:

I recently saw this play performed in Central Park in NYC. It was a post-modern production with Liev Schreiber as Macbeth and Jennifer Ehle as Lady Macbeth. They each did a fantastic job but I think the director was being a bit overambitious and overwrought with the imagery and overall look. The witches looked more like raggedy homeless soldiers rather than supernatural creatures…perhaps that was Moises Kauffman’s intention, but it just did not seem to fit the play. Yes, Macbeth is a story about war, but it is more about Macbeth’s internal conflict fueled by power and ambition manifested onto the world and how this blurs his sense of reality and imagination. I did like how the murder of Macduff’s family was juxtaposed with the scene in which Macduff finds out about it, though it could have been paced a little faster. I also like how at the end, the back curtain was drawn back to reveal the trees of Central Park, standing in as the forest of Birnam advancing on Dunsinane…very clever. I even almost expected them to move and a slight breeze did make them rustle a bit.

Period drama fans might be interested in reading this bunch of reviews at raptures of folly which includes Pride and Prejudice. As a bit of trivia, it turns out that Capitol Films is distributing both Alpha Male and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

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