Ninebelow (ninebelow) wrote,


All in all, as is usual with the Royal Shakespeare Company, there was far far too much acting going on. The actors attempted to liven up "the boring bits" by unneccessary pieces of business - acting out and literalising every figure of speech. Their accents wandered all over the highlands and lowlands, occasionally taking a short holiday in Brooklyn or Bavaria. Everyone of the usual RSC trademarks was on display: the men doing their stamping-stomping big-balled walks, the women about as feminine as drag queens, the over fussy crowd scenes (each crowd member trying to catch the audience's eye with some little bit of business), the far-past-pensionable actors who think verse speaking means e-nun-ci-ay-TTT, the young actors who think it means treat it all like slangy prose and the messianic middle-agers who, whenever a line comes through as if written in modern English, plant it in the audience like a flagpole: this is why Shakespeare is still relevant, why he still speaks to you, why we need more funding.


All that remained, finally, was the ultimate ordeal: the curtain call. How many hours - not in actual physical rehearsal, but in mental anticipation - do the actors secretly spend on this minute or two? How may times have they envisaged themselves stepping back to appluad a co-actor, smiling in admiration - behaviour which only says to an audience, "Wasn't she marvellous? And doesn't she just know it?"? Or how often stood in front of the mirror perfecting that businesslike dip, upper body still curty to obedience, which says, "I'm a down-to-earth-fellow, just like you - I have no airs. (But I was good, wasn't I?)" Or how frequently practiced that exhausted flop, hands dangling, which says, "To you, my audience, in this my bravura performance, I have give my absolute all"?
Toby Litt, Corpsing
Tags: quotes, theatre, toby litt
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