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Apr. 26th, 2013 12:05 pm
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
I think I managed to find a proxy that lets me log in to DW and post, so here I am (basically, someone Russian once posted a stupid meme on DW about suicide, so our state (and major Internet providers) are thoughtfully protecting us from such nasty things by blocking the DW IP).

Yesterday I went to see a new Measure for Measure in BDT - which was an experience in itself, since unlike most theaters which are within a walking distance from me, this one (well, its new building) isn't - and besides subway the way included a 20-minute walk through a park. Which is basically nice, but there was (a) rain, and (b) wind of such force that it was useless to open an umbrella. But the park is nice.

So is the theater... which wasn't that full. The performance itself was rather striking - I usually expect Angelo to be the main character, but here it was definitely the duke. Who was vivid and unpleasant (more unpleasant than usual; like pawing Juliet in jail); and their version of Isabella was also fairly unusual - starting with wearing a red dress under her robes, and generally being quite aggressive and aggressively sexual and in her interactions with Angelo being a bit like a wannabe/beginner dominatrix... between her and the duke I felt a bit sorry for Angelo for the first time in my life (while I was seeing Isabella/Angelo for most of the play, my friend was shipping Angelo with Escalus). I am not quite sure what I think about their Angelo - he felt very tired, put-upon and kind of befuddled.

... interesting show, in any case, and rather visually striking (and less undressing than usual - I think most Shakespeare I have seen locally involves undressing onstage. Especially King Lear)

And I have photos from Japan to clean up and post, except that I am tired. I am having a semi-day-off today.
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
I finished watching the BBC Hamlet - I think it moved me more than any Hamlets I have seen to date (not that I have seen that many) - and went on to the RSC one with David Tennant, as long as I'm in the mood.

Unlike the BBC one this is absolutely modern in clothing; and I caught myself thinking - okay, when I was watching the BBC version, I kept thinking sorta-fanficcy thoughts - trying to fill the blanks for myself, wondering who these people actually were the rest of the time - and here it does feel like a fanfic (modern AU?). I think it's a temporary impression because in a modern setting it is easier to fill in the blanks, to put it all in the familiar context.

Also, I saw for the second time - the first was the National Theatre Live Timon of Athens which I saw last week - that apparently nowadays the theatres genderswitch some of the characters. I somehow like this a lot - I loved Deborah Findlay in Timon.
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
I know too little about Hamlet - especially about the history of its production, but not just that. Suddenly I started thinking whether the actors weren't too reckless in performing Hamlet's play. The death of the previous king and his widow's remarriage should have been public knowledge - and, well, Shakespeare's troupe did have some trouble over that performance of Richard II. Were they counting on Hamlet knowing what he's doing and any possible trouble falling onto him?

(Somehow this BBC version is touching me deeper than Hamlet usually does. Perhaps this is because the production looks fairly traditional and thus invites to read it not on a symbolic, but on a 'story' level).
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
I have this - possibly silly, possibly productive - habit. I do not really argue with people about tastes - if you don't like X or Y, fine, who am I to argue with you, even if you give the weirdest reasons for not liking it. But: I keep arguing with an unseen opponent, formulating for myself what I wouldn't say to an actual person.

So someone once said something about strongly disliking the Tsukigumi Hamlet, and citing as the reasong that Masao played 'an hysterical woman in a leather coat' instead of Hamlet, a role that requires a strength of spirit. Well, I never quite know what people mean by strength of spirit, and Masao is a woman and wears leather coat onstage, but. Dismissing someone's Hamlet as hysterical (not even touching on whether hers _is_) struck me as weird. I mean, Hamlet is so much interpreted that it seems to me that it will hold almost any interpretation as long as it's internally consistent - most certainly including the 'he's hysterical' one.

Which led me to thinking about various Hamlets I have seen (not that I have seen that many). I don't know much about the modern Japanese theater, and the only Japanese Hamlet I have seen besides Masao's is Nomura Mansai's - and compared to his Hamlet, Masao's a fount of serenity by any measure. Might it be a common tradition of dramatizing and overdramatizing? I never can analyze anything properly, because any analysis of mine turns into 'I know too little, and I need context'.

Also, I need to rewatch the Tsukigumi version, but instead I am watching the BBC one with Derek Jacobi (I tend to use the BBC late 70s-early 80s set of Shakespeares as a control group for anything). And dimly thinking a lot of things including how Hamlet really felt about his father when he was alive, and how much the meeting with the ghost looks like a dream.
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
A comment under a YouTube video from a Richard II performance: "I <3 Hotspur. (No Homo)"

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Aug. 7th, 2012 01:45 am
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
The amount of things out there in the world that I want to read, watch and study brings out two types of reactions in me. Alternately. Either it's a wonder - oh wow, so much to see and learn, I'll have my life full. Or it's a fright - oh damn, so much to see and learn, when the hell am I doing this.

Today has been mostly of the first type, as I wander around YouTube poking at Shakespearean shows (this is all in the spirit of getting ready to watch The Hollow Crown. Apparently, I need to reread stuff and watch all the other interpretations first. Or something. No, I don't know when I will actually watch it. Oh, who cares)

I think Shelley, my dog, is having a good summer - well, as much as it is possible for a really old dog (16) with a permanent cough who got ready to die last year but thought better of it. She walks really slowly, and sometimes freezes in thought (one day she spent maybe half an hour staring at herself in a big mirror), but she likes taking walks (sometimes more, sometimes less - but yesterday she was inclined to spend half an hour outside, and I barely managed to convince her to go home), and has opinions - she's not going here, oh no, she's going _there_, - and pokes under bushes, and explores things.

* * *

May. 30th, 2012 11:00 am
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
From time to time my brain insists on having a fit of "Nobody likes me, I am as good as invisible, I am so alone woe is me" fit (with a side order of "My life is so useless") - for all that I know perfectly well that nothing changed as compared to a week ago when I was happy with my life. And no, it's not PMS. And it's really tiresome.

Also, I would like to know if it is even possible to stage a 'straight' interpretation of Shakespeare today. Without playing with costumes, hinting at today's politics and all other fun and games. Not that all this means I don't like this type of interpretation (when it's done well. As it is with everything, of course).
taelle: (crafty)
I finished watching the Takarazuka version of Twelfth Night and enjoyed it a lot. They've got the right spirit for this play, I think. Also a bonus: Viola and Sebastian do kind of look like one another. Orsino is young and coltish and amusing, Viola is very nice, but unexpectedly I most loved Sir Toby. Unexpectedly - because he turned out to be much less ridiculous drunkard and more a handsome bonvivant than it's usually done (also, in this version there's Toby/Maria and it makes sense). I also liked Feste quite a lot.

All this, with knitting. For my cross-stitching projects I (a) need to redo some backstitch which I did in black and should have done in white - can't be done while watching videos. Maybe an audiobook? I got so annoyed with Hagrid that I paused listening to Harry Potter; and (b)I need to find a cord for finishing a project. I am bad at finishing.

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Nov. 21st, 2011 04:03 pm
taelle: (Default)
People who are actually gay and go around and explaining that "We just need to keep our private lives private, and then there won't be any problems, and by the way, same-sex marriage - why on Earth do you need that?" are so very annoying somehow.

Also, went to see Anonymous yesterday. It was as stupid as I expected, and even more so. Oh well, it started with the fire in the Globe, which was started by soldiers in armour trying to arrest Ben Jonson (yes, Ben Jonson hangs around the Globe all the time, and brings them his plays). Yes, they started a fire in a big building in London by purpose.

Everyone in this film was an idiot, including the scriptwriter. Though the cinematography was rather pretty. Anne Cecil was also rather pretty, though her father was constantly failing at being diplomatic, menacing and/or artfully manipulating people. Also, Cecils were puritans.

Also, no Tudor prince theorist ever managed to explain how any bastard child of the queen could have chances for the throne.

I think my favorite character was Walsingham (was it Walsingham? Well, someone to whom Marlowe reported stuff). He was just sitting there and mostly having playwrights reporting to him about what was on stage. Was he the first theater critic ever?

And Mark Rylance acted in tiny bits of the plays like he had no chance to do so in ages and just missed the experience. Which was weird.

* * *

Nov. 7th, 2011 12:14 am
taelle: (London)
Weird day: doing nothing in particular, still feeling tired. Though it's a nice feeling when you realize that something you plod through just for the process, not expecting any results worth announcing, does start giving at least some results...

Otherwise - spent a couple of hours playing butterfly mahjong or whatever it's called - I am a prey to simple and repetitive games. Rewatched the Dancing Heroes encore ten times, and now I have the Kiseki song stuck in my head. Started watching the BBC Twelfth Night, but though I usually like these 1980s BBC Shakespeares, this failed to grab me - Felicity Kendal as Viola kept reminding me of a type of a female clerk with difficult life popular in Soviet melodrama films. And everything felt too stodgy. So I gave up and went to see Takarazuka Twelfth Night, curious how they managed the crossdressing problem. ...For now I am satisfied with their Viola and the way she works it, Orsino is ridiculously young and cute, Sir Toby is less comic and more scheming than usual, but I like the Toby-Andrew-Maria dynamics. This is much more fun - I do believe that Twelfth Night should be a young and merry play.

I'd like less headache, still. Took out my backup glasses - maybe they will make things better? Perhaps I should go to sleep, but I'd like to write a bit today.

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Nov. 1st, 2011 05:29 am
taelle: (rain)
I want to hide from the world (this, of course, is why I post in a public blog, right); no, really. I need the sense of being coccooned - like making a playhouse by putting a blanket over a table, - to pull myself together (this is, of course, where any sane person would ask me what I need to pull myself together _from_). Maybe I _am_ an hypochondriac, I dunno.

I am reading Eric Hobsbawm, which is kinda... different after some postmodernist historian stuff I've been looking at lately. But I hope I do remember stuff. I think with years I have started reading more slowly - though I always wondered whether things stay in my mind. This is one of the reasons I've always kept a diary - to prevent time from sifting through my fingers.

Halloween in Russia is taking strange forms. I am afraid that in a year or two it will be considered polite to give people best wishes for Halloween and to send postcards. Or something. There's already children's events - day events! In local cultural centres!

I started watching the Takarazuka Hamlet - and liking it more than I expected, for all its rock opera glamour (also, eternally amused by female Rosencrantz and by the gravedigger girls who look a bit like the younger version of Macbeth witches).

Still continuing my story - or trying to. Wrote an interlude before a talk which I'm not sure how to do (well, the character planning to have that talk is not sure either, but that does not matter). I am an okay writer on a phrase-and-paragraph level, but story-level... that's what happens when you stick to vignettes.

Also I should go to a dentist.

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