Let’s talk Hamlet a moment. Even with all its intrigue, singular characters, and great lines, one of that play’s most thrilling moments on the stage is the Player King’s speech on Hecuba and the fall of Priam. It is a stylized speech, and the best actors give it a lion’s roar of a reading: formal in presentation but emitting a passion from deep within. Even in the context of Hamlet, it is an archaic presentation, but nevertheless it can be—and so I’ve seen it—the emotional highlight of the play.
But just 10 years or so before Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, such stylized plays by the young Christopher Marlowe were all the rage of London’s stages. Dido, Queen of Carthage, was one of those plays, and while the form was already going out of fashion a half dozen years after its writing, it still can be, even today, a powerful spectacle when played by actors who respect the verse and do duty to the form. It’s like watching soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines at a formal dinner, wearing their mess dress uniforms and ramrod in posture, honoring the formalities and paying genuine respect to the customs and traditions. These men and women don’t dress and behave like that normally, but the dress and behavior is required of such a formal event and in turn makes the event special. Such is Marlowe; your heart will swell with the moment as your soul admires the art, similar to opera, if you accept the form.
For best seats, order tickets for Dido, Queen of Carthage today.
Written by Eric Minton of Shakespeareances.com
|<< November 2014 >>|
The Comedy of Errors
Friday, November 28, 2014, 2:00 pm
Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 29, 2014, 2:00 pm
Saturday, November 29, 2014, 7:30 pm
Cyrano de Bergerac
Sunday, November 30, 2014, 2:00 pm
Actors' Renaissance Season