JUDI DENCH DIRECTING KENNETH BRANAGH AND SAMANTHA BOND IN “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING” (1988)
”..on Judi Dench’s Much Ado About Nothing opinions were unanimous. The terrified debutante director had been sensitive and in control throughout rehearsals, but was immensely rocked by the first preview. Putting a play in front of an audience for the first time is always a learning experience for the actors themselves, who discover with shocking suddenness that an audience never responds quite as expected and have to alter their performances to meet that climate. For an actor who is directing for the first time, the feeling of impotence can be cataclysmic. But, apart from the usual first-night notes, her worries proved unfounded. She had elected to dress the cast in vaguely Edwardian costumes, reportedly because she considered the sight of young men in tights too distracting for an audience. This decision allowed her simultaneously to express the formal strictures of nobility and its codes of conduct and the disruption caused by their breakdown in both the villainous plots of Shaun Prendergast’s Napoleonic Don John and the romances of Claudio and Hero and of the hitherto confirmed bachelor and spinster Benedick and Beatrice. From the cast she drew a range of comic and tragic moments with subtlety and delicacy, serving the text rather than trying to bend it to a scheme of her own.”
Excerpt from “Ken & Em” by Ian Shuttleworth
"[S]he considered the sight of young men in tights too distracting for an audience."
Hilarious if true.
I want to write an alternative version of Romeo and Juliet where instead of being a little ponce and trying to work things out for himself, Romeo asks his smarter friends what to do about the whole thing and Benvolio and Mercutio come up with the world’s greatest plan:
hamlet getting horatio, rosencrantz & guildenstern to form a pop punk band with him as the lead singer. they have a rehearsal. there is an audience. it’s…
- ghost: hamlet your uncle killed me so can you kill him
- hamlet: sure dad i'm on it
- hamlet: (acts strangely)
- hamlet: (writes part of a play)
- hamlet: (kills the wrong guy)
- ghost: jfc son just kill him already
- hamlet: okay okay fine i'll do it
- hamlet: (gets kidnapped by pirates)
The Great Big List of Known Early Modern History Plays
Plays marked with an asterisk (*) no longer extant. Plays marked with a plus sign (+) exist only in manuscript.
I got the titles from this site and from Benjamin Griffin’s Playing the Past — I just split it up by…