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:

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

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