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Adapting Richard III
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peter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

McKellan's Richard, Brannagh's Much Ado [and Hamlet and Loves Labour], Luhrmann's Romeo - loved them all

.......but spare a thought for Mel Gibson's Hamlet; it wasn't so bad and brought Shakespear to many kids who would not otherwise have given it the time of day.

Anyone seen Ralph Feinnes' Coreolanus?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope. Haven't seen Gibson's Hamlet either...don't think I've ever watched any production of Hamlet...only read it. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer to read it myself Av - you get to roll that wonderful rich text around in your head in a way that seeing it never allows - but never the less, it's worth a view sometime. Brannagh did the full text unabridged, so it's a long film, but Gibson's is heavily cut to make it more 'doable'. Both are good though.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly I didn't care for the Gibson Hamlet (although Ian Holm was the best Polonius I've ever seen--the hardest part in the play IMHO). My own favorites are the BBC version with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart (in a dual role--Claudius and the Ghost) and the Public Theatre NYC version with Kevin Kline that was filmed back in the 1980s.

I heartily recommend Trevor Nun's film of Twelfth Night with (among others) Nigel Hawthorne, Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter from the 1990s.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Filmed in my neck of the woods, I was fortunate enough to visit some of the sets during breaks between filming - never got to meet Helena alas! Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zahir wrote:
I very much expanded the role of Lady Anne, Richard's wife and queen.


Quote:
I like some of the poetic lines in the play, such as this part by Richard after having seen the ghosts:

The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by.
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am.
Then fly! What, from myself? Great reason. Why:
Lest I revenge. Myself upon myself?
Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O no, alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself.
I am a villain.

Did those lines survive the adaptation, Zahir?


Zahir wrote:
Most of those lines do survive, yes--but in my version some of them are spoken by the ghost of Lady Anne.


Wow, you did indeed expand Lady Anne's role in your adaptation, to her picking up quite a bit more of Richard's guilt and self-judgement. Intriguing!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep! Big Grin I also lifted the Apothecary scene from Romeo & Juliet to give her a virtual suicide scene.

The reading was yesterday, turning out quite well! Had to shuffle around the cast a bit simply because of sickness, a playing gig, and a vet emergency.

Happy to say the story in my edit flowed pretty easily without who-is-who getting lost. One element I wanted to highlight did get lost, it seems to me--the idea of Queen Margaret as a prophetess. But that might be very fixable in terms of actual production. My expansion of Lady Anne met with a lot of approval, but I'm wondering if Clarence simply didn't come across as vividly as I wanted. A fix comes to mind, which is to add another scene (and character) at the very start. Will do the edit and show it to folks. See what they think.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds promising. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a scene in Lynch's Mulholland Drive where a girl attends an audition and does the same piece of dialogue in different ways, illustrating to startling effect the differences in meaning that can be drawn out of words by just the way they are said. This is a fascinating aspect of presenting a play and places much power in the hands of the director to manipulate the characters. Getting the balance right must be really hard!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
This is a fascinating aspect of presenting a play and places much power in the hands of the director to manipulate the characters. Getting the balance right must be really hard!


I agree, peter. Creative adaptations such as Zahir is doing with Shakespeare's sound challenging, especially considering it's hard to tell how well the changes will resonate with an audience.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True! This kind of thing can fall flat on it face, because the good idea isn't enough. Nowhere near. It needs good execution, not only in terms of the edit but also the cast and directing (although if you get a good enough cast, three quarters of the director's work is done).

Honestly the reading we had last weekend proved great that way. One person couldn't come because of an emergency, but if she had we really would have had a cast worthy of putting on the show right then and there. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zahir wrote:
True! This kind of thing can fall flat on it face, because the good idea isn't enough. Nowhere near. It needs good execution, not only in terms of the edit but also the cast and directing (although if you get a good enough cast, three quarters of the director's work is done).

Honestly the reading we had last weekend proved great that way. One person couldn't come because of an emergency, but if she had we really would have had a cast worthy of putting on the show right then and there. Very Happy


It sounds like your innovating version of this play is going to work out really well for you, Zahir, and I'm glad! No doubt it will be very satisfying to see it all playing so well!
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