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The NT and the Bard


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#11 richard

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 09:31 PM

angry.gif
If H41, H42 and H5 (jeep style) are the best the NT can do with the Bard it is probably as well we don't get many productions of his plays there.  (And why is it never properly called the Royal National Theatre, except by reviewers taking the p***?)

#12 sanderling

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 09:53 PM

QUOTE(Tulip @ Apr 2 2007, 08:19 PM) View Post
If our capital city can't muster one big Shakespeare production a year then what does that say about our national playwright?

Propeller, Donmar etc are great but we need a big showcase and the NT or the Barbican can do that but yet we're not getting it at the moment


I dunno. Maybe it says he was born in Stratford upon Avon?

Inconsiderate of him not to have been born nearer to the West End. But as I'm sure he'd have said, "hey, that's showbusiness, kid."

Personally, I wish he'd been born in Skegness. That would have given Londoners even more to whinge about.

#13 Boob

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 11:26 PM

I'd rather the NT did no Shakespeare than subject us to more awful Hytner modern dress political over-tone productions.  The last decent production I can remember is McBurney's Measure for Measure.

#14 Jan Brock

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 07:13 AM

I am not sure that the original poster is correct - I am not sure that the Shakespeare ratio is lower under Hytner than it was under Nunn, or Eyre. Maybe it's a bit lower than under Hall and Olivier but I don't know. If you want you can count them here: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/?lid=9730

It is interesting that there remain Shakespeare plays which have never been produced by NT - Hytner is to be commended for producing Henry IV 1&2 because surprisingly that was the first time they have staged those.

NT have a much broader remit than RSC in terms of the works they should stage. As has been pointed out the problem is the RSC and their treatment of London as merely another touring venue when the terms of their Art's Council grant are that it should be one of their "bases" - they should get their grant heftily cut, and probably will now that the Olympics need to be funded.



#15 musicals fan

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 09:52 AM

Not strictly on the topic, but I understand that the original intention was that the National Theatre and the RSC would become ONE organisation and complement one another.

I have not seen any details on how this was intended to work but have often wondered what might have developed.  They could certainly have shared theatres for a start - giving non- Londoners more National Theatre productions, for example, and the sharing of marketing expenses, admin etc. would have released money for productions.

#16 ellen

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:17 AM



Why do we need to see the same damn plays over and over? The third Tempest in a year, the third Seagull, yet another publicly subsidised Lear or Coriolanus, or John Gabriel Borkman - with their directors desperately scrabbling to imagine a production that's a little different from the one that was produced two months, or two years, or five years earlier.  Perhaps public funding should be limited to one big London production of any large-cast classic every five years? And the money that's saved should be used to allow new writers to write plays with more than five characters, and actually hope to see them produced?

#17 David

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:29 AM

Sorry ellen-
Anyone lamenting that there's not enough Shakespeare in London will be interested in this.

#18 pesa

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:23 AM

Personally I feel there is far too much of the 'Bard' in London and always has been, it is so difficult to get new works produced anywhere and I'm glad to see that London has been sticking its neck out a little more than usual and giving space for new writers works rather than the usual pretentious nonsense writen in a language inpenetrable to most of the population.

Powerful and inteligent Comedy and Drama are easy to find in London it doesn't have to be writen by Shakespeare to make it worthwhile (I'm not saying that is being said here) but Shakespeare does have a fan base with more than its share of pseudo intelectual snobs who don't even understand what they are watching but just like people to think that they do.

Of course there is a place for Shakespeare and not a week goes by without at least one production either on the fringe or main West End stage and thats the way it should be but no more please.




#19 Jan Brock

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE(David @ Apr 3 2007, 11:29 AM) View Post


"He turned a small, undistinguished London warehouse into the city's most glamorous and artistically exciting theatre", say The Guardian about Sam Mendes and the Donmar Warefhouse. So "undistinguished" that the RSC staged some of their greatest productions there.




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