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King Lear - Nt

Simon Russel Beale/Sam Mendes

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#21 Lynette

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:16 PM

Honestly HG I'm failing to understand you here. I have seem most if not all of SRB's stuff and I can't recall him ever getting the 'wrong' reaction through poor acting or direction. Can you be more specific?


And I'm not sure you can say for sure there are no laughs in Timon. Did you ask Will last time you saw him? My feeling is that you are thinking more of the old style of acting - this is called a tragedy so don't laugh - rather than the more contemporary view which is more ironic and cynical. Take Iago for example, no laughs? What did you think of SRB's go at that part?

#22 armadillo

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

Indeed. I've been stalking] following SRB since the late 80s and I don't recall ever coming out of a performance of his thinking, 'That clearly wasn't what Trev or Nick or John intended'. And I doubt any of them thought that or they wouldn't keep using him.

#23 Epicoene

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

View Postarmadillo, on 04 December 2012 - 11:04 AM, said:

And where it is said how sympathetic Leontes or Lear are allowed to be

In the text. SRB got a laugh when he denounced his wife during the trial scene which is plainly not the author's or director's or actor's intention. But I put it down to a failing of the audience rather than him, like those junior school parties who break out in helpless giggles whenever anyone kisses on stage.

On actors "liking to be liked" even in unsympathetic roles, better actors than SRB have been concerned with this issue and have tried to elimiate it from their performances, John Gielgud notably. Others have tried and failed - there is an interesting story about Jack Lemmon filming Glengarry Glen Ross for example.

#24 Honoured Guest

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

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#25 armadillo

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

Like Lynette, I don't share your absolute certainty that you know exactly what Will and Sam intended. Perhaps you'd care to give your sources?

#26 Honoured Guest

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

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#27 Abby

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

I don't think he got a laugh when I saw it - maybe you got a duff audience. It happens - I've been in audiences where someone laughed at a woman being punched. Some people are just odd...

#28 Alexandra

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

Rylance has the same problem at the Globe, The audience assumes that everything he says must be funny, and it's ruinous. I agree about SRB - he's a naturally sympathetic actor with a comic inflection in his voice and, as I wrote about his Timon, the NT audience would now cheer him reading the telephone directory.

"there is an interesting story about Jack Lemmon filming Glengarry Glen Ross for example. "

Oh, let's hear it please. I'm hoping to see Al Pacino's take on that role soon.

#29 Honoured Guest

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:48 PM

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#30 Lynette

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

Richard Briars who was known for his comedic bloke growing his own veg in the telly series was one of the most menacing Poloniuses [ Polonii] I've ever seen and a crackin' Malvolio who went from farcical to very dark indeed. Called acting.




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