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Shakespeare


Shakespeare must be performed as originally written.
  4% (1)
So long as the text is retained, adaptations are fine.
  16% (4)
So long as the story is kept roughly the same, reimaginings are fine.
  40% (10)
Hey, if it gets Shakespeare a new audience, then anything is great!
  40% (10)
Other (expand your opinion in a post).
  0% (0)


Total Votes : 25


(last vote on : 31/8/2009 4:53:13 PM)
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Shakespeare - 4/5/2008 11:21:39 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Does the bard have to be in the original format, in costume appropriate to the original setting of the play? Or can stage adaptations take liberty with the setting, costume, etc? Can it be adapted to other styles, reimagined, redesigned? Is it an insult to Shakespeare's memory to alter it, or does it open it up to new audiences, as a way into the original text?

Some adaptations to consider:

Ran, Throne of Blood - Kurosawa's adaptations of King Lear and Macbeth, respectively.
As You Like It - Brannagh's adaptation of the play, setting it in Japan.
Romeo + Juliet - Luhrmann's setting of Romeo & Juliet, retaining the original text, but setting it today.
West Side Story - the famed musical adaptation of Romeo & Juliet.
Ten Things I Hate About You, O, etc - high school reimaginings of plays such as The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, etc.
The Animated Shakespeare - abbreviated versions of the plays for a younger audience
Manga Shakespeare - manga style graphic novels, retaining original text.



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Post #: 1
RE: Shakespeare - 4/5/2008 4:40:54 PM   
JV


Posts: 3512
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: two counties east of home
I think Shakespearean texts are very flexible and so readily adaptable to all sorts of situations. I remember being told once that part of the reason for this is that Shakespeare puts very few stage directions in anyway so a fair amount of it can be changed.

I think the mere mention of Shakespeare is enough to terrify some people so having adaptations whether they use or discard the original text is a good idea. Romeo & Juliet for example is one of the easier texts to understand but when it is being taught to a group of GCSE students in a run-down school in a rough area (like mine) then anything that helps the pupils understand and identify with it is okay in my opinion. And it is a story that teenagers in particular can relate to.

Personally, I'd rather have the original text, but then I am a linguist by nature and I find exploring the language fascinating but I'm not against adapting it.

I once saw a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Swansea Grand Theatre that involved having the fairy queen's throne made out of Sellotape on the spot and it was amazing!

I haven't seen most of the other adaptations homie mentioned - and shamefully the only ones I have seen are *cough* Romeo + Juliet and 10 Things I Hate About You. I'm sure I once saw a snippet of an adaptation of Othello that had it translated to a World War II era and it still worked well.

Oh and didn't the BBC do a series of adaptations a couple of years ago? The Taming Of The Shrew was adapted to a Westminster parliamentary setting and Macbeth was moved to the kitchen of a busy restaurant. Those were the only two I caught but I thought they were very well done.


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Post #: 2
RE: Shakespeare - 4/5/2008 5:22:31 PM   
Amelie_Scotland


Posts: 17468
Joined: 13/10/2005
From: Take a guess.
I am pretty protective of Shakespeare, I'm always defending his work in English. But I think it's up to the director as to how he imagines the setting. I recently saw the Dundee Rep production of Romeo and Juliet, where the setting was modern day Scotland and everything had a slightly abstract edge. It worked so well and did nothing to detract from the play itself.
I do love 10 Things I Hate About You though, it's my favourite rom-com ever.

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Post #: 3
RE: Shakespeare - 4/5/2008 5:33:27 PM   
Baby Bear


Posts: 5544
Joined: 6/11/2005
From: Back stalking Wilbert....oh, yes...
I am not precious about how the plays are performed.

Interpretation is always fun and if someone finds that bringing in a fresh element that hasn't been tried before, then great.

DB was teaching at a Liverpool drama school and the kids really couldn't get the gist of how the dialogue ran. It's all very well reading it within the meter it's supposed to be orated in, but, to the modern ear, sometimes it doesn't quite make sense. In school, I remember most of the moans in English were about studying anything that required a little focus....like the Bard.

So he had the kids line read in their own accents, and not the RP that is normally required for any exams and within the school standards.

Listening to Shrew was super. It had almost an element of Brooky and the students loved it. It piqued their interest, for a while and, even though it had to be performed for exams using RP, at least they understood what the dialogue meant......

< Message edited by Baby Bear -- 5/5/2008 8:40:55 AM >


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Post #: 4
RE: Shakespeare - 4/5/2008 5:46:52 PM   
pettsy

 

Posts: 5969
Joined: 30/9/2005
Although I think its important to retain the thread of the story, they are strong enough to be adapted. Personally I'm a fan of the faithful adaptations (Zeffirelli's R&J, Polanski's Macbeth - the first Polanski film I ever saw) but I can see how others prefer the looser ones. They make it relevant to people who may otherwise resent having to study the Bard in school, for example.

Edited to truncate the longest sentence in history.

< Message edited by pettsy -- 4/5/2008 5:58:39 PM >

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Post #: 5
RE: Shakespeare - 4/5/2008 7:02:51 PM   
Manchurian candidate


Posts: 11123
Joined: 13/6/2006
From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis
quote:

Edited to truncate the longest sentence in history.


Are you sure about that? Are you familiar with Molly Bloom's soliloquy?


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"Who's Keith"
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Post #: 6
RE: Shakespeare - 4/5/2008 8:09:52 PM   
pettsy

 

Posts: 5969
Joined: 30/9/2005
That sentence could, and probably did, beat Molly Bloom comfortably.

(in reply to Manchurian candidate)
Post #: 7
RE: Shakespeare - 5/5/2008 7:42:02 PM   
Mogwai


Posts: 671
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Northern Ireland
I've always thought that one of the reasons why Shakespeare is the best playwright, is the fact that is plays can be adapted to fit any setting be it modern, futuristic etc. You don't even have to retain the dialogue, updating it works as well because themes of the plays: love, revenge, war, family etc are so universal. Hell, you could easily set Hamlet in a gangster setting (horrible I know). I remember BBC did Macbeth set in a restaurant. Although, watching a Shakespeare play live is a totally different experience than watching a film.

Also, the Polanski version of Macbeth is very good but talk about bloody depressing. You won't be laughing for a while after watching that film.

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Post #: 8
RE: Shakespeare - 6/5/2008 3:13:16 PM   
Monkeyshaver

 

Posts: 4734
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: La Planete Des Singe
quote:


As You Like It - Brannagh's adaptation of the play, setting it in Japan.

Totally pointless setting.

quote:


Romeo + Juliet - Luhrmann's setting of Romeo & Juliet, retaining the original text, but setting it today.

The single worst Shakespeare adaptation of all time. A loud garish mtv version...yuk!!!
Should any playwright suffer the insult of having their dialogue totally rewritten? Of course not!!!
The language MUST be retained, it can of course be reduced for length but the essence of the writing is all important.
It should not be watered down to appeal to the great unwashed!! It makes a mockery of Shakespeare's true genius.



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Post #: 9
RE: Shakespeare - 6/5/2008 7:47:35 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I'm guessing you voted for the top choice then monkeyshaver 

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Post #: 10
RE: Shakespeare - 6/5/2008 8:06:46 PM   
pettsy

 

Posts: 5969
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mogwai

Also, the Polanski version of Macbeth is very good but talk about bloody depressing. You won't be laughing for a while after watching that film.


True.  Although the play itself is hardly Fawlty Towers.

It was the first version I saw in my early teens (complete with gruesome beheading) and so, for me anyway, its the definitive version.

(in reply to Mogwai)
Post #: 11
RE: Shakespeare - 6/5/2008 8:59:43 PM   
Peppermint


Posts: 10421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Sussex
Didn't Ian McKellen do a version of Richard III which he set in World War II? interesting take on it I thought.

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Post #: 12
RE: Shakespeare - 7/5/2008 10:16:01 AM   
Monkeyshaver

 

Posts: 4734
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: La Planete Des Singe
quote:

ORIGINAL: Peppermint

Didn't Ian McKellen do a version of Richard III which he set in World War II? interesting take on it I thought.

Maybe the best adaptation, missed it on stage but saw the movie, it was actually set in a fictionalised fascist 30s Britain. McKellen is awesome in it, all the conspiratorial asides to camera, his delivery of the winter of discontent speech at the start. & like the way they incorporated the "kingdom for a horse" line.


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Post #: 13
RE: Shakespeare - 7/5/2008 12:36:10 PM   
bozo


Posts: 2512
Joined: 1/11/2006
From: HM Prison Slade
Of course reimaginings are fine. Otherwise Ran wouldn't have been made. And I consider Ran to be the greatest Shakespearean adaptation ever made (not that I've watched them all, of course). 

(in reply to Monkeyshaver)
Post #: 14
RE: Shakespeare - 7/5/2008 9:09:20 PM   
Manchurian candidate


Posts: 11123
Joined: 13/6/2006
From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis
Kurosawa!

_____________________________

"Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"British Beatitudes! Beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery and bishops"
-Ulysses, By James Joyce
"Rose McGowan is a fucking clown"
-Harry Lime
"Who's Keith"
- Rhubarb

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Post #: 15
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:19:25 PM   
Kilo_T_Mortal


Posts: 13534
Joined: 30/9/2005
Do what you want with it the fucker is dead.

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horribleives

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Post #: 16
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:26:27 PM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2451
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Monkeyshaver

quote:


Romeo + Juliet - Luhrmann's setting of Romeo & Juliet, retaining the original text, but setting it today.

The single worst Shakespeare adaptation of all time. A loud garish mtv version...yuk!!!
Should any playwright suffer the insult of having their dialogue totally rewritten? Of course not!!!
The language MUST be retained, it can of course be reduced for length but the essence of the writing is all important.
It should not be watered down to appeal to the great unwashed!! It makes a mockery of Shakespeare's true genius.




Oh well I really liked this version. Thought it was visualy lovely and made the story current. I like the way they retained the language as well. Certainly one of my favourite adaptions. That said Romeo and Juliet wasn't one of my Shakespere favs although it really started to grow on me over the years and now I love it.

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Post #: 17
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:31:49 PM   
Fritz Lang


Posts: 429
Joined: 2/3/2008
From: Gotham City
Who voted Shakespeare must be performed as originally written?????

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Post #: 18
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:39:13 PM   
Manchurian candidate


Posts: 11123
Joined: 13/6/2006
From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis

quote:

ORIGINAL: Fritz Lang

Who voted Shakespeare must be performed as originally written?????


An elitist.

(Not me though).

_____________________________

"Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"British Beatitudes! Beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery and bishops"
-Ulysses, By James Joyce
"Rose McGowan is a fucking clown"
-Harry Lime
"Who's Keith"
- Rhubarb

(in reply to Fritz Lang)
Post #: 19
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:42:03 PM   
Fritz Lang


Posts: 429
Joined: 2/3/2008
From: Gotham City
quote:

ORIGINAL: Manchurian candidate


quote:

ORIGINAL: Fritz Lang

Who voted Shakespeare must be performed as originally written?????


An elitist.

(Not me though).
Did he want all the great theatrical plays be performed as originally writen?

_____________________________

All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? You had a bad day and everything changed.

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Post #: 20
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:43:00 PM   
Manchurian candidate


Posts: 11123
Joined: 13/6/2006
From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis
I don't know.

_____________________________

"Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"British Beatitudes! Beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery and bishops"
-Ulysses, By James Joyce
"Rose McGowan is a fucking clown"
-Harry Lime
"Who's Keith"
- Rhubarb

(in reply to Fritz Lang)
Post #: 21
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:45:00 PM   
Fritz Lang


Posts: 429
Joined: 2/3/2008
From: Gotham City
quote:

ORIGINAL: Manchurian candidate

I don't know.
I quess you say that a lot...

_____________________________

All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? You had a bad day and everything changed.

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Post #: 22
RE: Shakespeare - 8/5/2008 5:55:47 PM   
Baby Bear


Posts: 5544
Joined: 6/11/2005
From: Back stalking Wilbert....oh, yes...
Nope. Wrong.
He says Badlands a lot.
And stuff about how Kate Bush wrote the Selfish gene.
Or something.* scratches head quizzically*

Oh, and he says go home a lot.

It may be undiagnosed Tourettes.........

< Message edited by Baby Bear -- 8/5/2008 5:57:51 PM >


_____________________________

" At least he was asleep when I hit him with the shovel......." Moses Lawn. RIP

Has tin foil hat issues ( thanks Woger...love it )

Felix: "Poor guy. They must be like space hoppers by now."

lympo :
I have no idea how the idea came about! one moment I was eating turkey, the next i was on all fours

Daz : Get. A fucking. Room.

(in reply to Fritz Lang)
Post #: 23
RE: Shakespeare - 9/5/2008 9:24:44 AM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2451
Joined: 22/11/2005
I think it's about time we liberated Shakespere from the elitists. Power to the people and all that jazz let's take our stories back from the smug so and so's who have tried to steal Shakespere from the common person  

_____________________________

Just to spare peoples blushes I feel it's only right that I should point out I'm a girl people! Not in a Crying Game way in the born without a willy way. I hope that's cleared that up.

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Post #: 24
RE: Shakespeare - 9/5/2008 9:28:09 AM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2451
Joined: 22/11/2005
They can keep Chaucer though I bloody hate Chaucer.

_____________________________

Just to spare peoples blushes I feel it's only right that I should point out I'm a girl people! Not in a Crying Game way in the born without a willy way. I hope that's cleared that up.

(in reply to Fanboyslayer)
Post #: 25
RE: Shakespeare - 9/5/2008 9:32:08 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
People do tend to forget the raucous atmosphere at the Globe with the groundlings right in front of the stage. They were the blockbusters of the time, and it seems to be reserved for middle classes these days, which is sad. The eye-plucking scene in King Lear was the Reservoir-Dogs-ear-slicing scene of its day! And what an end to an Act, that is! 

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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


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Post #: 26
RE: Shakespeare - 9/5/2008 9:48:37 AM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1506
Joined: 24/4/2006
Performing a lot of Shakespeare's plays 'as they were originally written' is probably impossible, actually, as Shakespeare never published his original manuscripts, and we have various different texts for many of the plays. We don't actually know what the original versions were, before they were staged for the first time - we only have the versions that were published several years after they were first performed, when they would have evolved in perforrmance, and not all the versions of those are accurate reproductions of the plays. There's huge discrepancies between first folio and quarto versions of plays like King Lear and Macbeth.

Plus, if you were to perform all of a play like Lear, with no cuts or adaptation, it would be about four hours long - Hamlet I believe would actually run to five hours if performed uncut.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 27
RE: Shakespeare - 9/5/2008 10:37:21 AM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2451
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

People do tend to forget the raucous atmosphere at the Globe with the groundlings right in front of the stage. They were the blockbusters of the time, and it seems to be reserved for middle classes these days, which is sad. The eye-plucking scene in King Lear was the Reservoir-Dogs-ear-slicing scene of its day! And what an end to an Act, that is! 


That's what has always mystified me about the whole snobbery around Shakespere. I was always taught in english lit that these plays were for everyone and like you say were the blockbusters of there day. I mean if you just look at the basic stories of these plays minus the difficult language how are they any different from most on the movies we sit down to on a Saturday night. That's the great thing about Shakespere when done properly it' just bloody good entertainment.

_____________________________

Just to spare peoples blushes I feel it's only right that I should point out I'm a girl people! Not in a Crying Game way in the born without a willy way. I hope that's cleared that up.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 28
RE: Shakespeare - 9/5/2008 10:41:52 AM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2451
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: kathryn2


Plus, if you were to perform all of a play like Lear, with no cuts or adaptation, it would be about four hours long - Hamlet I believe would actually run to five hours if performed uncut.



Yep I went to a Hamlet adaption in the West End many years ago that was the full five hours. We were all quite young so some of us only made it through the first half then all ducked out down the pub, ironically the pub was called The Shakespere. Kicking myself now of course but unfortunately the pub held more sway than learning in my college days.

_____________________________

Just to spare peoples blushes I feel it's only right that I should point out I'm a girl people! Not in a Crying Game way in the born without a willy way. I hope that's cleared that up.

(in reply to kathryn2)
Post #: 29
RE: Shakespeare - 9/5/2008 10:43:13 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I feel I should give these guys a plug. Illyria are a great open-air theatre company who tour the country every summer with a different shakespeare play each year. This year it's The Merry Wives of Windsor. if they're performing near you, I highly recommend checking them out. I've seen them do As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest, and they wring every drop of humour out of the plays, making old humour absolutely hilarious without changing a word. Make an evening of it - take a picnic for before the performance, everyone else does. Great fun - and they do perform whatever the weather, so if you live in a typically inclement part of the country, take big umbrellas.



_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Fanboyslayer)
Post #: 30
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