"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
Shakespeare Company at Brentwood Theatre
was Shakespeare's earliest play. It has the smallest cast. And
frankly, it's not one of his finest.
Shakespeare chose to set it in a garden, with Mozart muzak throughout
– the al-fresco world of Fiordiligi and Figaro. This adventurous
approach was easy on the eye, with some wonderful costumes, and it
had several splendid spin-offs: Alan Ablewhite's lisping fop, Lindsey
Crutchett's Restoration parvenue Panthina, desperate for her Proteus
to better himself.
wasn't convinced by Mark Griffiths' lumpen proletarian – certainly
not a gentleman "and well derived" in the Shakespearean
sense. But it did allow a nice contrast with Andrew Hewitt's
supercilious Valentine, with his snobbish smile. Their girls were
similarly distinct – Helen Sinclair's pert Julia [a splendid
"Sebastian", too] and Natalie Sant's elegant Silvia, by far
the best speaker of the verse.
there was sometimes a fatal failure to move the lines forward, and
laughs were in short supply, though Elliott Porte, as a lugubrious
Lance, working with Harvey, the stand-in Crab, delivered his speeches
impeccably, while achieving a real rapport with his audience.
charming, gently revolutionary comedy was directed by Vernon