"Come now, what masques"
With 37 films to work through and no need to do them all in one weekend as the Complete Walk was originally designed, I'm rather enjoying working my merry way through them at my own pace. First, second and third sets of film can be found here.
Given how many Dreams I’ve seen this year, it’s a little
surprising that A Midsummer Night’s Dream can still surprise me but such is the
enduring beauty of the play. Nikki Amuka-Bird and David Caves take on Hippolyta
and Theseus in the stately surrounding of Wilton House in the English countryside
in Wiltshire, done with a romance here by Rebecca Gatward that is rarely seen
these days. The flip to the brilliantly feisty pairing of John Light and Michelle
Terry’s Oberon and Titania (from the 2013 Globe version which ranks as myall-time favourite) is vibrant, but it’s gorgeous to go back to the further
developing of an unexpected tenderness between two characters who rarely
receive it. A snippet of Pearce Quigley‘s Bottom is a bonus but it is Caves and
Amuka-Bird who are the bees knees here.
Going to the ruins of Juliet’s Tomb itself (‘twas a room in
a monastery) in Verona, and constantly switching with a second location
(perhaps said room in a modern setting), Dromgoole’s Romeo and Juliet becomes
extraordinarily powerful. Jessie Buckley’s final speech is just heartbreaking,
really quite hauntingly affecting. Luke Thompson’s Romeo doesn’t quite hit the
same heights but it’s still a beautiful encapsulation of the play.
Re-uniting father and daughter Jonathan and Phoebe Pryce from
Jonathan Munby’s achingly moving production at the Globe in 2015, this
rendering of The Merchant of Venice has the special opportunity of carrying its
main actor from the staged to the filmed version, also by Munby. The swaggering
demands of Dominic Mafham’s Antonio give way to the quiet confrontation between
Shylock and a soon-to-depart Jessica, given real piquancy by being filmed in
The Jewish Ghetto in Venice. Munby then goes for the greatest hits of the play,
fitting in the ‘Hath not a Jew eyes’ and then Portia’s ‘quality of mercy’, but
it is the subtle interplay between father and daughter in the Venetian
half-light that sticks in the mind.
Labels: David Caves, Dominic Mafham, Ellie Kendrick, Jessie Buckley, John Light, Jonathan Pryce, Luke Thompson, Matthew Tennyson, Michelle Terry, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Pearce Quigley, Phoebe Pryce, Rachel Pickup, Shakespeare