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Troilus And Cressida

RSC

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#41 Honoured Guest

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:36 PM

View Postsimon from oxford, on 10 August 2012 - 12:55 PM, said:

The use of radio mics for the Trojans was necessary to allow the actors to be heard over and above the soundscape but it meant that the language was lost far too frequently.  With a play of ideas rather than incident like T&C, this again is a problem.

I doubt that audibility was the main reason for The Wooster Group radio mikes. Different microphone techniques are frequently used, as part of their multi-media approach. From reports, they seem this time to have contributed to a relentless flattening of the spoken text. Often, they serve to separate the speeches from the speakers so that text becomes an element in the theatre experience rather than an integral part of an acted character, as in the "traditional" RSC convention. They sometimes display text visually on rolling electronic display.

I haven't seen this yet, so I can't judge it, but it does seem that what you call "flaws" are actually "features" of The Wooster Group. It may be "worst" in comparison to "traditional" theatre, but it's a different beast to that so I think it's pointless to look at it on those terms.

#42 simon from oxford

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:50 PM

I am not comparing it with 'traditional' productions, I am comparing it with productions of all sorts that I have seen over the past 30+ years - including some very radical interpretations.  It is against that backdrop of theatre-going that I make my judgements.

A 'feature' that makes it hard for the audience to follow the text or engage with the characters might be what TWG were aiming for - but for me that is self-indulgent theatre-making.  It felt as if the Trojans did not fully understand what they were saying - and with a text such as T&C, that is a problem.

#43 Honoured Guest

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:21 PM

Yes, I can understand it's a problem for you to look for something that's not there. I think "self-indulgent" is a bit harsh on a revered company of 37 years' standing. Better to say you're not interested in their kind of theatre.

I wonder if a more appropriate West Midlands venue for this show would have been the Theatre at Warwick Arts Centre, during termtime. I think The Wooster Group have played there before and, if not, they would fit into the range of theatre presented there.

Personally, I'll be happy if I come away worrying that the RSC bits interfered with the Woosters.

#44 igb

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:01 PM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 10 August 2012 - 02:21 PM, said:

Yes, I can understand it's a problem for you to look for something that's not there. I think "self-indulgent" is a bit harsh on a revered company of 37 years' standing. Better to say you're not interested in their kind of theatre.

I didn't book this when the members' brochure arrived because August was already filling up and the dates hadn't been firmed up for the NTW Coriolan/us and the Birmingham Opera Mittwoch.   I planned to go if the reviews were good and I could find time.

I think it's fair to say that the RSC blurb, at the point it was first announced, was for a Rupert Goold helmed production, with Rupert Goold (that's Rupert Goold) the name in lights (lighting up Rupert Goold) in the brochure.  Yes, an American theatre group (over-sexed, over-paid and over here, I'll be bound) were involved, but the blurb didn't really give any sense that it would be more than a Rupert Goold (that's Goold, R) production.  Throw in it being the height of the tourist season and it's hard to blame audiences not knowing what they were letting themselves in for.

My children don't know what I've let them in for, mind, with Mittwoch.

#45 Honoured Guest

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:09 PM

No, you misremember. I have the first "RSC blurb" in front of me. It clearly announces a co-directed co-production and gives equal weight to Elizabeth LeCompte & the Woosters and to Rupert Goold. Obviously you, like many other RSC regulars, mentally latched on to the RSC/Goold element which you were already familiar with but it plainly states and introduces both equal parties

Where I think the blurb falls short is in saying of the Woosters merely: "Formed in 1980, the company is well-known for its experimental and innovative style" and name-checking two recent shows. That's true but you could say roughly the same about Rupert Goold and it doesn't tell those to whom it isn't well-known that the company uses texts as a starting point for a piece of theatre which doesn't present "characters"  in the traditional theatre way, as Goold generally does. So people, including some reviewers, trot along and have some justification in feeling short-changed. I sort of agree with the argument that people should be free to be completely ignorant but this is an example of ignorant people who aren't open to any experience but who, on past RSC form, expect a variant of RSC Shakespeare, which they could have been informed in the blurb wasn't on offer.

#46 simon from oxford

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:16 PM

I am sorry but this was simply badly done.

I am open to a very wide range of theatrical experiences - all I require is that they are done really well.

This wasn't.

Nothing to do with the past achievements of either of the two contributing companies - and everything to do with the execution of this particular project.

I want the RSC to innovate - I just want them to do it well.  Some risks will pay off, some won't.  You just have to be honest about it.

#47 Latecomer

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

I feel I have to stand up for Simon here. He wasn't expecting the production to be standard and he knew it would be experimental. He just thought it was pants anyway! I like it when we say The Emperor has no clothes. If that makes one ignorant then so be it. As Simon says he is open to new ideas and radical productions, he just thought the result here was bad.

#48 Honoured Guest

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:04 PM

This is nothing to do with Emperor's new clothes or theatrical innovation because it's been going on for over thirty years. I can't comment on the quality of the show because I haven't seen it yet, but the obvious issue with many audience members' comments on Simon's review and the Telegraph's review is their expectations. I agree with Simon's statement in his review that: "The management team do have to make sure that these productions meet the same standards that audiences expect." Those commenters would have been just as disgruntled if this were the Woosters' finest ever show because it wasn't what they expected to see. They should have been given more information on the nature of the performance before booking.

#49 xanderl

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 08:41 PM

A fine bit of selective quoting in the email I've just been sent (from WOS but it looks like RSC publicity) ...

Quote


'LeCompte and Ravenhill's elegantly disturbing production'
TELEGRAPH

What people are saying about the show...

"The RSC-Greeks/Wooster Group-Trojans culture clash worked brilliantly... an amazing and fascinating show"

Well OK that's what "a person" is saying about the show but a lot of "people" seem to have different views!
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#50 Latecomer

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 08:43 PM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 10 August 2012 - 06:04 PM, said:

Those commenters would have been just as disgruntled if this were the Woosters' finest ever show because it wasn't what they expected to see.

You seem very confident that the RSC audience just want to see same old same old. Have you not considered that they (or some of them) were quite open minded about the whole thing (like Simon) and just thought it was not very good.

Or that even if they were expecting  a "usual" performance could they not have been pleasantly surprised by a radical innovation?

You seem to think the audience a very boring stick in the mud crowd!





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