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Member Since 11 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Jan 15 2014 05:55 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Coriolanus

02 January 2014 - 05:39 PM

I must confess I find all the snobbery about fans of particular actors rather tedious.  It has a strong whiff of teenage "I liked them until they became popular".  I've been to productions on the basis of thinking actors involved are easy on the eye (for example, I doubt I would have risked the Calixto Bieito "Forests" were it not for Katy Stephens being in it) and although I'm fifty this year, I'm not sure that makes me any less fannish.  The critical point is that a bunch of teenagers and twenties are seeing a perfectly competent production (my animadversion to some of it doesn't make it bad) of a difficult, interesting play.  Some of them might come back for more.  That's a good thing.

"There are actually Coriolanus  and Shakespeare forums on facebook where fans have been discussing it which I find quite exciting."  Indeed.

In Topic: Coriolanus

22 December 2013 - 10:26 PM

View Postnan00se, on 22 December 2013 - 10:08 PM, said:

lives up to the visual/spatial feast described or is more reminiscent of a spaghetti western.

They're not mutually exclusive, and it's no accident that Christopher Frayling wrote one of the definitive books on the topic of Spaghetti Westerns.

In Topic: Coriolanus

22 December 2013 - 09:54 PM

View Postnan00se, on 22 December 2013 - 05:09 PM, said:

One review I read suggested that the redline was outlining the parameters of the where the action took place

An argument that would have more force had, in fact, the action remained within the red line, and not constantly crossed and recrossed it.  The red square is at an angle to the stage.  The lines in which the cast march up and down clutching chairs run parallel to the front edge of the stage, and therefore cross the square continuously.

The review you cite talks about the spatial wotsits of the scenes in which people are all holding weapons to each other's throats in a complex chain of threat and deterrence.  Those of us with less high-flown referents would point out that the three-way standoff is a staple first of spaghetti westerns and more recently of Hong Kong "gun fu" movies, perhaps made by John Woo, and the idea that a scene involving weapons and stand-offs between protagonists should refer to Hong Kong gangster movies hardly seems exceptional.

In Topic: Coriolanus

22 December 2013 - 02:43 PM


I always try to approach a piece of theatre with the personal attitude that everything I experience is there for a reason...I think it's really counterproductive to expect an immediate articulable "meaning" (particularly a literal meaning) to everything

If there's not an articulable meaning, how can there be a reason?  Do directors just say "paint a square, not sure why, but I'm sure it means something?"  Because my suspicion is that they do, and your argument appears to be that they do as well, but in a more positive way.

In Topic: Coriolanus

22 December 2013 - 01:42 PM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 22 December 2013 - 12:14 PM, said:

But they've all reeled off skewed descriptions of elements like the chair choreography and the red and the recurring materials, with an assumption, because they didn't personally respond well to these, that they had no meaning to anyone else.

OK, I'm game.  Explain to me what meaning you took from the red square drawn on the stage at the outset, and why it was drawn by Coriolanus's son (and picked out in a special lighting plot, too).   Was there some symbolism when people crossed that line?  Not that one could see.  Did it separate the people from the senate, the Romans from the Volscians, the past from the present, the sacred from the profane?  Not so far as one could see.  Did the fact that it was the same shade of red, virtually the same Pantone number,  as the voting papers (a rather neat symbolism for "voices", I thought) and the rose petals symbolise anything?  And is it something worth symbolising?