A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Foot It Featly Here & There
Saturday, June 28, 2014





From my Shakespeare Bible, Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare – The Invention of the Human I found out two, for me, important facts. One is that The Tempest, Love’s Labour’s Lost and A Midsummer’s Night Dream are the only Shakespeare plays pretty well written from scratch and with little borrowing from other sources. 



Two in that Bloom has had mostly bad experiences in witnessing productions to date. He writes:

Of all Shakespeare’s plays, the two visionary comedies – A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and The Tempest – these days share the sad distinction of being the worst interpreted and performed. Erotomania possesses the critics and directors of Dream, while ideology drives the bespoilers of The Tempest. Caliban, a poignant but cowardly (and murderous) half-human creature (his father a sea devil, whether fish or amphibian), has become an African-Caribbean heroic Freedom Fighter. This is not even a weak misreading; anyone who arrives at that view is simply not interested in reading the play at all. Marxists, multiculturalists, feminists, nouveau historicists – the usual suspects – know their causes but not Shakespeare’s plays.


 Of last night's opening performance at Bard on the Beach of  The Tempest I can comfortably assert that director Meg Roe (who has read Shakespeare!) has kept the politics of the play in the dialogue where it should remain and tweaked the play with gender, just so nicely as so many have from inception. After all in Shakespeare’s time boys were girls, men were women and all that was reversed in time until all we need  now(and probably already performed) is a female Lear.

In The Tempest, Ariel (described as an airy Spirit by Shakespeare) is performed by Jennifer Lines. But there is a tradition in female Ariels. But startling (to me!) are Trinculo, a jester, and Stephano, a drunken butler. They are played as Trincula by Luisa Jojic and Stephana by Naomi Wright. These two wonderful women inject into the play the second part of Blooms epithet for the play “visionary comedy”. These two are uproariously funny in their costumes, Christine Reimer, the Costume Designer (which are pristine in the beginning and they, little by little fall apart) and their two spiked hairdos complete the picture. Their shenanigans with foot fetish “monster” Caliban played by Todd Thomson (who crawls most of the time and will surely need relief soon for his poor back) are exquisitely done.


The buzz during the interval was about Miranda, Lili Beaudoin and Ferdinand, Daniel Doheny who both have the joy of youth oozing out explosively to the point that surely the powers that be at Bard will mount a Romeo and Juliet next year for this pair. 

Lois Anderson, Colin Heath, Manon Beaudoin

Beaudoin has talent to spare which obviously may have been inherited by her extremely funny parents Manon Beaudoin and Colin Heath who before they moved East were the funny element (with Lois Anderson) of Leaky Haven Circus. I will never forget the swings and the dogs.

Daniel Doheny may have inherited his dramatics from his grandfather Uno Langman. Witness my portrait of the grandfather.

But the play belongs to Allan Morgan’s Prospero and Jennifer Lines’s Ariel.

Throughout this play, which is straightforward and you really need not read notes to figure out what is happening, I was mesmerized by these two. Morgan made a noticeable but almost seamless change from the vengeful deposed Duke of Milan to the almost kindly forgiver. Morgan combined body language and the diminishing of that assertive voice he is so good at projecting. For me this was an acting tour de force paralleled by Jennifer Lines.  

Uno Langman
  

Line, who has a beautiful soprano voice, physically put her right foot up on its toes most of the time. She combined this studied unbalance with an almost unnoticeable vibrato/shimmer. She was an apparition not quite here or there. She was perfect.

As for the foot fetish shenanigans you might find this interesting. I might want to sit down some day with Meg Roe and compare notes.

I enjoyed the musicians (one was missing from what I can tell) who were very young. The violist, Marcus Takizawa I know from the Turninng Point Ensemble.

A Midsummer's Night Dream








     

Previous Posts
Thursday's Child Has Far To Go

Marilyn The Wild

Great Balls Of Fire At The Red Rock Diner

John Singer Sargent Might Have Drooled

Vancouver Rosarians Fuss & Preen

Bard's Dream Works

Scrumptious Or Elegant?

The Men/Boys Of The Arts Umbrella Dance Company

Brilliant Orange

Henri Fantin-Latour



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6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17