By William Shakespeare
Directed by Gregory Doran
Wednesday 5th November 2008
There were some physical problems for me tonight. I had a small coughing fit this afternoon, similar to last year’s ones, and it seemed like it might start up again tonight, but I managed to control it, keep the coughs to between scenes, and drank lots of water to help things. Unfortunately, drinking lots of water has an inevitable consequence, and so I had to leave after the French ladies head off to hunt the deer, and just as Holofernes and Sir Nathaniel are arriving. I was let back in during that scene, so I didn’t miss too much, and if anything I had a better seat, round the other side. I was able to enjoy the rest of the play up to the interval and then rejoin Steve; hooray for the helpfulness of the RSC staff. I managed the second half without too much coughing, though I did have to pay another visit once the play finished, so my mind wasn’t fully on the performance. I did enjoy it, but I did take longer to get involved as I wasn’t seeing as much of the action in the opening scene as I would have liked (and probably sulking as a result). I saw some things better though, such as the way the lovers, apart from Berowne and Rosaline, were looking in each others’ eyes during the final song.
All the performances have come on since our first viewing, with a lot more detail everywhere. Don Armado was not quite so over the top, more controlled, and funnier. The men seemed to be less “silly” but still fun, the girls were more giggly, but still more mature than the boys. I forgot to mention last time about Berowne throwing his hat at the tree in the first scene – still haven’t seen him make it. [According to Edward Bennett, he’s managed it twice, and completely corpsed when he did.] He chatted up a woman on other side of the stage tonight. I was also reminded that the Mummers come on at the start of the second half, and a bear comes on with the Russians, but goes off in disgust when the women won’t pay him any attention. So, apart from a few distractions and some restrictions to our viewing, it was another excellent performance.
© 2008 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me