Monday, September 2, 2019

The RSC Measure for Measure—Now in Theatres [Albeit Extremely Briefly]

Measure for Measure. Dir. Gregory Doran. Perf. Claire Price, Amy Trigg, David Ajao, Joseph Arkley, Hannah Azuonye, Patrick Brennan, Graeme Brookes, Melody Brown, Antony Byrne, James Cooney, Tom Dawze, Sandy Grierson, Amanda Harris, Karina Jones, Sophie Khan Levy, Alexander Mushore, Michael Patrick, and Lucy Phelps. Royal Shakespeare Company. Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Various locations, 2019.

You may know that Shakespeare made his way to England this summer to make the grand Shakespeare tour. I stayed home . . .

. . . but which of us has two thumbs and got to see the Royal Shakespeare Company performance of Measure for Measure, eh?

This guy—Bardfilm.

I wish I had a great deal more time to write about the production. It holds a lot of interest, and it has a number of things to agree with--and to disagree with.

Tomorrow (September 3), there are some additional screenings of the play in movie houses across America. Click here to see if you can find one near you. It's certainly worth seeing.

The production is set in early 1900s Vienna—incorporating the era of Freud for this play about sex and sexual desire and also bringing in (at least at the beginning) the art of Viennese artists of the period, including Egon Schiele (whose Cardinal and Nun is pictured above—and which seems appropriate to the plot of the play) and Gustav Klimt.

For now, I just have time to list some notable points about the film (though I hope it will be released as a DVD eventually).

Use of mirrors (including one-way mirrors), cross imagery, Isabella nearly vomiting and having a fit when Angelo’s intentions are clear, her distrust of the friar (I think because he’s male), et cetera.

Also of interest:  Escalus (a female) and her relationship with power structures, the way Lucio gradually becomes more and more unfunny … et cetera.

For now, I can just give you the trailer and urge you to go see it.



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).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2020 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest