Monday, February 9, 2009

Peter Brook's 1970 Midsummer Night's Dream

“Shakespeare: Drama’s DNA.” Perf. Richard Eyre, Peter Brook, and Judy Dench. Dir. Roger Parsons. Changing Stages: 100 Years of Theatre. Episode 1. BBC. 5 November 2000. Videocassette. Films for the Humanities, 2001.
Another genuinely micro MicroBlog post follows.

I wish I had more time to comment on this clip of Peter Brook's 1970 stage production of Midsummer Night's Dream. The clip appeared on the video listed above—more evidence (if any were needed) that those inconspicuous videocassettes in the basement of your local library often yield marvelous treasure.

The production was a truly innovative one, and it influenced scads of Shakespeareans. David Bevington, for example, writes this about it:
[Jan] Kott's challenging interpretation had an immense effect on theatrical performances of Shakespeare, as seen for example in Peter Brook's A Midsummer Night's Dream(1970), with its intensely metatheatrical demystifying of fairy magic; gone were realistic scenery and fairies with gossamer-winged costumes in favour of a white box filled with circus--act performers on trapezes. (239-40)
Peter Orgel calles it "Peter Brook's famous, dazzling, radically-destabilizing production of 1970" (86).

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is a glimpse at the production:

video

Note: A newer post incorporates a few more clips from this production.




Works Cited

Bevington, David. Shakespeare: Seven Ages of Human Experience. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.

Orgel, Stephen. Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions. Palgrave: Houndmills, Basingstoke, 2003.

1 comment:

Jensen! said...

hello, i am doing a school project on this product of Dream, is it possible for me to link your video? thanks a lot, jensen x

Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

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Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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