Now that I’ve sufficiently splattered by unseemly emotions all over the internet, let’s talk about some other things.
I mentioned in the Dunsinane review that I was going to go see the RSC’s latest production of Lear, and rest assured I did, and it was pretty good. Nevertheless, I don’t think I have much to say about it, since it was the kind of thing that raised a lot of interesting points but didn’t follow through on them. This is distinct from the Twelfth Night I saw, which simply didn’t bother to raise points until the end; rather, this Lear had a lot of interesting ideas that never coalesced into a main thrust or argument, and so in the end it was a very good but somewhat jumbled. I don’t think it needs more in the way of a review other than me saying that, if you had the opportunity, it would not be a waste of your time to see it.
I might be seeing some more plays before I leave. Well, scratch might — I’ll at least be seeing Cheek by Jowl’s Macbeth at the Barbican in a few weeks, and at the end of April I hope to catch another Macbeth at the Globe. With the way these things work out it really must seem like Macbeth is my favorite play (it’s actually probably #2) and I go out of my way to bring it up. I swear to God I don’t, this just happens to me. I can’t go anywhere without Macbeth playing into the situation in some capacity — it’s actually started to freak me out a little. By the end of my time in London, I will have seen three productions of the damn thing. This isn’t helped by the very well known fact that the play is cursed.
At any rate, I’ve already mentioned that the first production I saw was pretty terrible. Cheek by Jowl is not known for being terrible, of course, and from what I’ve seen of their production it could end up being pretty damn cool; the Globe can be hit-or-miss, depending on what they’ve decided to do. After this is all wrapped up I may try to write some sort of short essay on the three Macbeths and make some piquant observation about the tendencies of modern productions or something like that, so we’ll see.
On non-Shakespearean fronts, I’m going to try to hit up a production of Jonson’s The Alchemist later this month. This should be good because Jonson, though Shakespeare’s contemporary, sometimes strikes me as a more modern in his ways of thinking and writing than Shakespeare usually does. I’m not saying that Shakespeare is antiquated, of course, but I mean there is definitely a “Shakespearean” tone he strikes. Jonson, for his part, has a bunch of wacky characters who are generally bad people having hilarious times at each other’s expense. It’ll also be good to actually see The Alchemist since 1) it’s been several years since I read the play, and 2) for various reasons, chiefly the lack of stage directions, the play is almost impossible to follow on the page.
Also, because I can’t say the things I said last post and not really follow up on them, here’s a tiny update: work is marginally better and something weird happened. More on that if anything comes of it.