By: Wiliam Shakespeare
Directed by: Peter Brook
Venue: Swan Theatre
Date: Friday 7th January 2011
This piece was devised by Peter Brook to link a number of Shakespeare’s sonnets together. First performed in Paris, here we had Michael Pennington and Natasha Parry delivering a series of sonnets exploring love and time from different angles. While I’m fascinated by the sonnets, I find their language too complex to be readily understood, and so although some lines came across really well, for the most part “it was all Greek to me”. I found Natasha Parry’s delivery a little weak, and our position didn’t help, as our view was regularly blocked. The music was charming, but with the heat in the auditorium, I nodded off a few times when the music took over. Still, it was a pleasant evening, and I would still be happy to attend other sonnet readings in future.
The highlight of the evening was an unexpected treat – Peter Brook and Michael Boyd in a post-show conversation. Paul Allen made the third, and I was totally taken with Peter Brook’s deep listening presence, and the tremendously good sense that he talked. His view on professors and their declarations about Will’s work were spot on (and good fun), and although I don’t remember all the details, I thoroughly enjoyed his contributions.
Michael Boyd was equally entertaining. In fact, the two made a great double act. I left the theatre feeling I’d been in the presence of two masters of theatre, that as with great theatre I’d been uplifted and improved just by being there. A great night.
© 2011 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me