2018-07-19 07:17:45 UTC
Very disappointing performance at the Globe last night.
We couldn't hear 2 of the main characters at all clearly, apart from the
third fairly major character (Celia) who signed her part. Now, I have
every sympathy for people who are deaf (see my first phrase in this
paragraph :/) but I don't speak BSL and surely the whole point of
Shakespeare are his words and if half of the early, scene-setting
two-handed dialogues  is missing (after the opening Orlando
scene-setting monologue was inaudible), no matter how they tried to make
up for it with rewriting, then I feel short-changed. We had the text
with us, so for a lot of the play we were following it in the book :(
And then they took the gender swapping to extremes. The two Dukes were
played by the Helen Schlesinger (who we couldn't hear),
Rosalind/Ganymede was played by a very tall man and Orlando by a very
short woman who we couldn't hear (our neighbours had been to Hamlet the
night before performed by the same ensemble and she had played Laertes
and seemed to start with a very tired, croaky voice).
I know that originally all the actors were men, but that was a cultural
thing, but this just seemed to be a right-on attempt to be gender
neutral and ablist  and was really unnecessary.
Several of the other actors were very good, particularly Pearce Quiqly
as Jaques who was perfectly clear and Colin Hurley as Touchstone (who
swallowed some of his lines but was mainly understandable).
The Globe itself was very well run with lots of cheerful, friendly and
helpful staff, but the benches were so uncomfortable even with cushions.
We knew it would be like that, but the reality after an hour with
nowhere to put your feet was excruciating, esp. for wife who still needs
a crutch to get around although she can now bend her knee almost as normal.
We have been looking forward to this outing for months and to regular
trips to the theatre in London when we get back to the UK full time, but
I don't think the Globe is going to figure very much unless it's an
exceptionally good and traditional show :(
 is that a word ?
 is a dialogue always two handed ?