Thursday, 15 September 2016

Removed! The Comments from Shakespeare's Globe Discussion Forum, Macbeth

Comments Removed by Moderators, presumably for the Weasel Arse and Buggeroff.

Yes ... I think you are right. In the early days I heard the argument that Shakespeare's Globe would become an 'Elizabethan theme park' admired by tourists alone. That was proved so very wrong as the Globe became a centre for scholarship into theatrical practice and culture at a time of massive transition in the 16th/17th and 20th/21st centuries. But it is ironic that now I really do feel this theatre is becoming the 'Elizabethan theme park' once dreaded - yes, we get the shell of the theatre only with an abandonment of cultural study.

And phew, I also feel sorry that, no matter what the range of questioning put to the Globe, the standard copy-and-paste response of 'experimentation' follows. Dear Globe, you were called *Shakespeare's* Globe for a reason - you're not called *The director's latest experiment which we're putting on at a reconstruction of the Globe*. Your argument of 'experimentation' does not address the questioning of what you are now there for.

I posted a similar comment ... with a critique similar to yours. My comment has been removed by Shakespeare's Globe. Maybe your comment will be allowed to stay?!

We have been Friends of Shakespeare's Globe for years. You were one of the most original theatres in London. In every play we saw - and we have seen many - we were rewarded with the knowledge that the cast had spent rehearsal time wrenching every physical expression from the scripts.

The actors, without props of hi-tech support, presented these characters to us stripped back and bare - so very little else on stage, the presentation of Shakespeare's plays like this was borderline folly. It was incredibly brave.

Shakespeare's Globe rightly travelled about the world as a beacon of originality. And Shakespeare's Globe pulled it off! The support of the beautiful crafted stage; natural light; reconstructed costuming; an exploration of Elizabethan culture; the supportive exhibition; the groundlings - it created a theatre of breathtaking bravery.

The very first time I visited the Globe, ALL my education and understanding about Shakespearean theatre was turned upside down. I am indebted to both Rylance and Dromgoole. It was thrilling. I slapped down my Friends money the same day, then set about recommending Shakespeare's Globe widely. We brought children to you as groundlings to see your startling new approach. Here was a theatre that no-one else was attempting. I was delighted to support how Shakespeare's Globe was helping to kick into being a new form of Shakespeare studies.

Now! I find I'm relabelled and discarded as a 'purist' and 'traditionalist' for mourning the loss of your original vision. But you need to tell people honestly that under Rice your previous approach is gone. The message you send around the World needs revision. In these performances, to me it looks now - without that central unifying focus, purpose and vision - as if you're searching for what you think must be popular - you're grabbing at lights, sound, put on a song because all shows must have a song, revise to the absurd, drown the words with sound, get to the next set piece because integrity and coherence no longer matter - Shakespeare's Globe is become just another London stage.

Yes, go if you want cheap and accessible theatre, then Shakespeare's Globe still great value. Yes, go if the RSC at Stratford is too far! Yes, go if you like set-piece songs (thanks to Webber). Go if you like a whizz-bang-pop that's there, well, just because. But if you need that astonishing vision of authenticity, then I don't know where to recommend. Sadly, it used to be Shakespeare's Globe. Now? I can no longer recommend it.

And the message I sent to the Moderators:
HEY, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE STAFF! It's looking to me as if you don't want to hear my comments, especially if they're in any way critical! After many years of study of Shakespeare, starting with a degree covering the stuff, then I believe I have earned the right to an opinion. I have praised the Globe around this world, and brought people over from Hong Kong to be with us in this very special space, and now I'm not allowed to comment?! Okay, then I will use other channels for sure.

Weasel Arse and Buggeroff.

No comments: