“A bike! a bike! my kingdom for …”
Posted by Big John on November 13, 2007
I once saw a production of Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ at London’s ‘Old Vic’ theatre, where all the characters were dressed in Elizabethan costumes instead of Roman togas. I suppose that this was acceptable as in old Bill’s day actors probably dressed that way on stage, as I believe they do in current productions at ‘The Globe’.
What drives me ‘up the wall’ today is the way that so many ‘luvvy’ directors and ‘arty-farty’ costume designers think that classic drama and opera can be improved by setting the action at some different period of history from that of the original story, and dressing up the cast in all sorts of fanciful outfits.
You know the sort of thing I mean … King Lear set in Harlem or Henry V dressed as a Prussian officer wearing an Iron Cross. Not to mention Richard II played by Kevin Spacey … complete with crown … dressed in a modern day business suit.
I will concede that this approach can on very rare occassions work, as in the case of ‘Carmen Jones’, which I enjoy far more than Bizet’s original opera; but I can’t see myself enjoying, or even bothering to watch Kenneth Branagh’s new film version of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’.
It seems that Stephen Fry has written a new libretto for the movie, which is now set in the trenches of WWI and features a homosexual soldier who is suffering from battle fatigue … and by the way … The Queen of the Night enters astride a tank: … and they laughed at …
… “Springtime for Hitler”.