Saturday, February 20, 2010
Episode 516: Measure For Measure
The Measure For Measure production was quite good. My only problem was that apart from the Duke and a few other characters, the rest of the cast seemed a tad too bent on delivering their lines like they were, well, delivering lines, which made it difficult to connect emotionally with them. Dan did point out that in the case of Isabella, this might have been deliberate, emphasising how as a novice nun, you wouldn't necessarily expect her to be comfortable with the world she has to confront in order to save her brother. Point taken. I did like how in this production, they've interpreted Isabella's silence after the Duke's marriage proposal as a rejection, with her following the nuns back to the convent. The Duke's performance, incidentally, was superb. (I think I've seen him before, in Pictures Of John Gray.) He was the only one, I felt, for whom Shakespeare's lines rolled off the tongue, coming across as sharp rather than slightly antiquated. I do agree though with the idea that the Duke's character is perhaps too glib in his manipulation of all the other characters, which seems somewhat unnecessary if you think about it. He's the Duke! He could have fixed everything without continuing to pretend to be a friar, although that would have deprived Shakespeare of a nifty denouement...