The Bridge Project
Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:18 PM
Anyhow, I loved the second play too. Itís baffled me so many times before but Mendes makes it so clear, so lucid, and spacious somehow, so you really get a chance to connect with all sides of the material and ask yourself what itís all about. Tempest novices I canít commend enough how good a place this is to deepen your acquaintance. Even the moments of the play that seem elusive are still hugely enjoyable thanks to an immensely stylish and gripping concept played throughout on a sandy circle, and a gorgeous ensemble cast who have clearly learned how to be one with each other. Consequently Ė and too much to the criticsí chagrin, it seems Ė this is not a Tempest about a grandstanding Prospero, or indeed a Caliban. Both of them are tender, wistful, withdrawn and remain resolutely part of an interlocking complement of characters.
If anyone, Ariel is the most prominent, which makes sense given that he makes everything happen, and Christian Carmargo is absolutely gorgeously haunting with the doomy, incarcerated aura he brings to every moment of his deeds. But by and large Mendes makes everyone important and you really get to bask in the little characters all performed with such detail by the likes of the lovely Alvin Epstein (brilliant too in As You Like It).
Itís also ravishingly delicious to look at. If you see one, Iíd make it the comedy simply because it seems to me a play with little tastes of everything in it (Christmas dinner is a indeed a good analogy) but both are great, both better than last yearís commendable start in my eyes, and Ė sod the critics Ė I know loads of people who are going to get a lot of charm and pleasure from these shows this summer. Definitely my favourite things yet in the Spacey monarchy.
Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:30 AM
I have things to say about As You Like It too, but they'll have to be later. They are nice things though! :3
Posted 30 June 2010 - 07:52 PM
I would highly recommend - and don't be afraid to take teenagers to this one.
Posted 04 July 2010 - 01:41 AM
I liked As You Like it. The Tempest left me cold.
I saw the RSC As You Like It a couple of times last year and over all I preferred that one I think, but mainly due to their Touchstone and Jacques who i thought were weaker in the Bridge Project. But the Bridge project did have some nice touches.
The Tempest. What to say? Nice music (but the on-stage musicians were distracting at times...or maybe it was just the performances weren't good enough so anything was a distraction?)
My The Tempest history is the RSC/Antony Sher version last year which I didn't understand what was going on half the time but I still enjoyed parts of the performance. Then a wonderful version at Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory earlier this year, which made complete sense - followed by a study day with the director so I felt I 'got it', and understood the possible imagery, influences, representation etc. This version didn't give me any of that. Even Stefano and Trinculo weren't funny.
Stephen Dillane gave the impression he'd rather have been anywhere else than on stage. If he was going for an understated performance he took it to a whole new level. He sounded bored, and therefore his performance was boring.
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