A Mad World My Masters1950s
Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:14 PM
Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:13 AM
There's no "it's" in the title incidentally: perhaps you are getting mixed up with "It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world!"
Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:35 AM
Entirely agree with this. Thoroughly entertaining production, very good cast and well-judged use of music. The joke about the text was an excellent touch. Also particularly liked Penitent Brothel's 'temptation' scene.
It's a pity that there's no sign of a London transfer for this or 'Titus Andronicus'; both are a cut above the general run of recent RSC productions.
Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:45 AM
Lynette, why didn't you eat your last jelly baby?
Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:38 PM
It sounds like good fun but I agree with his point about radical changes to rarely performed plays being a bit annoying
Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:53 PM
Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:17 PM
According to the editors they ditched 20% of the play, but of what remains, 97% is original Middleton. Billington is griping about aspects of the original being lost and has quoted bits that were cut.
However, the updated bits are clearly signposted and are actually hilarious, compensating for the opaque nature of much of the original humour.
More importantly, contrary to the impression in Billington's piece, the edit retains a lot of the original 'difficult' language and does not spoonfeed the audience with totally modern English. Watching this production, like most Shakespeare, you have to concentrate and apply extra processing power to decode precise meanings.
It's almost as if the gags about pearl necklaces and angry young men at the Royal Court were rewards for that effort.
What has been done here is simply a more aggressive version of the kind of editing that goes on all the time in Shakespeare productions: cutting the first 40 lines of Romeo and Juliet to remove the confusing wordplay about carrying coals, colliers, choler and collars; or the changes to Measure For Measure to specify that brothels are being demolished in Vienna's suburbs rather than just 'houses'.
In conclusion, having seen the play and bought the play text and read it through, I'm satisfied with the way the play has been made more accessible while maintaining a profound respect for the original.
ps. when I saw it Saturday night the audience groaned at a funny but rather corny joke. The actor turned on the audience and adlibbed "Thomas Middleton, 1605" as if to specify that the joke in question was part of the original and not one of Foley and Porter's additions.
Posted 03 July 2013 - 06:06 AM
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