Wow, I can understand what he wrote! It had to be all that highly dramatic and explictly expressive acting.
The Comedy of Errors is playing in the Royal Botanical Gardens at the moment. It’s set in 3 or 4 different locations in Ephesus (Ancient Greece) utilising one stage/set and some groovy music. The costumes and acting are apparently in the comedia dell’arte style, yet they had me thinking of the Muppets and Saturday morning cartoons from the 70’s. The acting is to be highly commended for it’s slightly modern interpretation of a play that’s a few hundred years old.
I can’t believe I was worried that I’d have trouble keeping track of the action. Holy cow! That is so far from the truth. When Shakespeare is acted out it’s simple – actually too simple, to the point of being cartoonish. I knew how it was going to end even though I’ve never read or seen the play before and that had me peeved. Of late I’ve been reading or seeing narratives that keep me guessing for the majority of the time. I seem to have grown immune to the charms of a simple plot. Do I really need to be constantly pondering whilst I engage with the text? Is it wrong to think, ‘I know exactly how this is going to play out’ and be irritated by this?
It also reminded me of A Servant of Two Masters, a comedy by the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni written in 1743, which I saw perfomed by Assumption College students two years ago.