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RSC vs Chichester


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#21 Alexandra

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:13 AM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Jun 7 2007, 07:49 AM) View Post
Right. But, have a look at the "Magnificent Maggie !" thread for an opposing view.


Really, Jan, you really should stick to movies, you know. wink.gif


#22 Jan Brock

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 11:44 AM

QUOTE(Alexandra @ Jun 7 2007, 10:13 AM) View Post
Really, Jan, you really should stick to movies, you know. wink.gif


I know. As I have been to see only one movie in the last 5 years I feel I could write on that topic with even more confidence and authority than I do on theatre.

Incidentally, best film version of a stage play = "Vanya on 42nd Street", right ?

#23 Alexandra

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Jun 7 2007, 12:44 PM) View Post
Incidentally, best film version of a stage play = "Vanya on 42nd Street", right ?


I think I'd go along with that...there have been some good Shakespeares...Ran was good. But Vanya was excellent.

#24 Alexandra

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 11:54 AM

Whilst we're straying off topic, have I really got to go and see bloody Betrayal again? I found the last production (west end, Hugo Speer, can't remember who else) hideously arch and the whole play sub-The Real Thing. But now the Donmar version's gone and got a complete set of raves.

#25 Welthorpe

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 03:30 PM

Agree about Chichester Macbeth being infinitely superior to the very poor production at the swan at the moment. Still not a patch on Out of Joint's African version IMHO.

Not sure about the comment about the RSC depth of casting comment, especially the citing of the Histories cast. Personally I think the quality is terrific given that they all had to take such a long contract. Really very few weak links for me there. There have been depth of casting issues recently, but that is not the right example to use in my view.

#26 tom_waldo

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 04:03 PM

I didn't think the RSC Macbeth was that bad. Just a weird mix of new things to say and very traditional ideas. I agree that it wasn't five star theatre, but with the alternative in Chichester being headlined by Patrick Stewart who in the RSC's Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest seemed content at just playing himself, I don't think it's possible that it could reach the heights of the legendary Nunn version which it is being compared to. That said, the prospect of Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth is enough of a draw for me, her Hermione and Thaisa were extraordinary.

#27 Jan Brock

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 08:47 AM

QUOTE(Alexandra @ Jun 7 2007, 12:54 PM) View Post
Whilst we're straying off topic, have I really got to go and see bloody Betrayal again? I found the last production (west end, Hugo Speer, can't remember who else) hideously arch and the whole play sub-The Real Thing. But now the Donmar version's gone and got a complete set of raves.


It is popular. I have seen it at Almeida and NT also. The NT (Nunn) production was notable only for the set which was the cast of the inside of a flat, in the manner of Rachel Whitehead's famous sculpture "House", thus mirroring the backwards timescale of the play.

#28 Alexandra

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 11:03 AM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Jun 8 2007, 09:47 AM) View Post
It is popular. I have seen it at Almeida and NT also. The NT (Nunn) production was notable only for the set which was the cast of the inside of a flat, in the manner of Rachel Whitehead's famous sculpture "House", thus mirroring the backwards timescale of the play.

Clever - I like it.

#29 Theatre_lover

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 01:02 AM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Apr 27 2007, 12:28 PM) View Post
An interesting list.

Two "lesser" plays in terms of reputation which I think nearly always succeed on stage are Troilus & Cressida and Winters Tale. Pericles also comes close.

I have mentioned before that one of the greatest Shakespeare productions I have ever seen was Michael Boyd's RSC "Troilus & Cressida", but it seems hardly anyone else saw it.


Jan - I saw Troilus and Cressida by the RSC at Salisbury a few years ago, maybe 5? Had not read T&C, so was stunned by the excellent production, I would agree, a great play.

Have just seen Macbeth at Chichester, 10/10 for me. Will watch the McKellen on DVD to compare. Have seen a few Macbeths, and this tops the lot for me.

My least favourite? Rufus Sewell a few years back (what should I have expected, I guess). I quite liked Pennington's with the ESC a few years ago, and Roger Allam in 96 with the RSC at Stratford was probably my favourite before this week.

#30 Theatre_lover

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 01:14 AM

QUOTE(tom_waldo @ Jun 7 2007, 05:03 PM) View Post
I didn't think the RSC Macbeth was that bad. Just a weird mix of new things to say and very traditional ideas. I agree that it wasn't five star theatre, but with the alternative in Chichester being headlined by Patrick Stewart who in the RSC's Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest seemed content at just playing himself, I don't think it's possible that it could reach the heights of the legendary Nunn version which it is being compared to. That said, the prospect of Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth is enough of a draw for me, her Hermione and Thaisa were extraordinary.


The staging of the Chichester production is simply stunning. Kate Fleetwood was fantastic, and Patrick Stewart (didnt see A&C) but having been familiar with him from his sci fi excursions only before this, I would say certainly didnt just play himself. An excellent transition from the loyal soldier at the start, to the nervous and and tempted pre-regicide character, through to an intensely powerful tyrannical performance at the banquet, and showing a very different portrayal of the Macduff duel.

I found it the most thought provoking staging of macbeth I have ever seen, in terms of the use of the weird sisters, and in the portrayal of how thirst for and attainment of power transformed the characters of both macbeths in different ways. I have never seen the final duel played as it was here, but I wont say more, as I dont want to spoil it for those who like to experience these things without knowing the twists up ahead.

My favourite production of any shakespeare play I have seen in the past 25 years of my experience.




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