sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2009-01-09 03:01 am

I do haunt you still

The Actors' Shakespeare Project's The Duchess of Malfi rocks my world. You who are in the Boston area, I suggest looking into tickets; it is a revenge tragedy, but onstage it reminded me much more of a film noir, an atmosphere which is not at all suggested by the set design—a strip of stage between two one-way mirrors of audience, light spilt like blood or finality between doors always locked, unlocked to be locked again, never ajar; no one is ever untrammeled, private, alone—and therefore all the more interesting to me. Bill Barclay as Bosola, Jennie Israel as the Duchess. There are bones underneath the greatest of houses. You can die suddenly or by degrees or they can be the same thing. What would I do, were this to do again? Also, in performance? Surprising quantities of Webster are funny. Of course, the same holds true for Sweeney Todd. In short, a terrific evening with [ profile] nineweaving, [ profile] rushthatspeaks, and [ profile] gaudior—I will have to hunt down [ profile] eredien on my own time—and we did not freeze to death hiking from South Station to the China Pearl to the recently ex-warehouse Midway Studios, which was a plus. I hope to write more on this topic tomorrow. I should probably at least try for sleep first.

We are only like dead walls, or vaulted graves,
That ruin'd, yield no echo. Fare you well.

[identity profile] 2009-01-09 11:24 am (UTC)(link)
no one is ever untrammeled, private, alone—and therefore all the more interesting to me.

why all the more interesting? (asked not belligerently, but in curiosity)

For myself, I can see how this would be true simply because most of our lives, we're interacting with people; mainly we don't have the privilege of being untrammeled and alone--and also because drama and story are often (but not always) more intense when they involve more than one person.

But how about you, why for you?

[identity profile] 2009-01-09 05:53 pm (UTC)(link)
aha--got it. And wow, yeah--Webster, an anticipator of film noir!

[identity profile] 2009-01-10 01:01 pm (UTC)(link)
With that long a run time, maybe I can actually manage it--thanks for the link!

[identity profile] 2009-01-09 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)

I've always thought that film noir was the 20th century equivalent of Jacobean tragedy.

[identity profile] 2009-01-09 06:33 pm (UTC)(link)
The Duchess of Malfi is actually one of my favorite (and perhaps the favorite, Bard be damned) Jacobean tragedies. Unmitigated bastardry mixed with the noblest of intentions crossing the most desperate of pragmatic survivalism. It is a goddamned shame that Bosola is not a cultural icon like Iago or Lady MacBeth or even the venerable Jew of Malta.

Still, being #4 on the list of best playwrights of the Elizabethan/Jacobean era isn't too shabby.

[identity profile] 2009-01-11 12:17 am (UTC)(link)
Unfortunately, most of the theatre productions down my way (South of the Mason-Dixon) are scrabbling for contemporary luminaries or are absolutely mired in pandering to the lowest-common theatre-going denominator, so something like Webster is just not going to hit on the radar of any Artistic Directors. Meh.

Who's Second -- Massinger? Fletcher? Middleton??

[identity profile] 2009-01-11 12:35 am (UTC)(link)
I'm assuming you're putting He-Who-Must-Be-Revered first, and Marlowe in the top three, if only for sentimental reasons.

Which leaves me fearing that Boring Ben Jonson is going to be the answer.

Re: Who's Second -- Massinger? Fletcher? Middleton??

[identity profile] 2009-01-12 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Sorry to disappoint, but the canon seems sort of demands that it be Jonson. Not that I feel that way myself. Meh.

[identity profile] 2009-01-09 07:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Sounds splendid. I wish I were in the Boston area.

And I'm exceedingly glad that you none of you froze to death during the hike.

[identity profile] 2009-01-10 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
May there soon be Jacobean theater in your life!

Thank you!

The local community theatre did once, perhaps ten years ago, put on an obscure Jacobean comedy called "The Knight of the Burning Pestle." And, of course, anything can be found in NYC--it's only that the finding of it can be very difficult. So I suppose it's possible, sooner or later, that this will happen.

So long as it is actual theater, not the events of your day-to-day; that would bode poorly for everyone's life expectancy.

Yes, that would not be good. Especially as I've not fenced in years--it would be exceedingly annoying for it to suddenly become a survival skill, and I being so out of practice and shape.