Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Pinching the plot from Plutarch

I read through the introduction to Antony and Cleopatra last night, and it told me that the "problem" with it is that there has not yet been a "classic" performance of the two leads. Well, I think some brainy theatre wallah is missing a trick if they don't get James Purefoy and Lyndsey Marshall from Rome and stick them on stage. Because they have it all - the chemistry, the physicality, the appetite, the gender-bending, the tacky Posh'n'Becks/Victoria'n'Albert display, the no-longer-in-the-first-bloom-of-youth-and-therefore-even-sexier, um, ness. The works.

Alas, I can only find one picture online, which doesn't do justice to either the tissue thinness of Lyndsey Marshall's dresses or the shovelled thickness of James Purefoy's eyeliner. I'll keep looking - purely as a public service, you understand.

They even get the Isis and Osiris stuff in. After Antony has suicided, and Cleopatra comes and sees his body, she sits him in a chair and clambers into his lap, and rearranges his arms around her as she cries and talks to him. Rome is so bloody good.


Ika said...

I love Antony & Cleopatra. One of my students told me that Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet first, then he went off and wrote a bunch of history plays, then (presumably) thought Hmm, you know what would be really interesting? If the lovers were also active people in the world around them! and wrote A&C, which is the best play EVER, but apparently might not even have been performed in S's lifetime OMG. J and I saw it with Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter and a fantastic mad queeny neurotic incestuous Augustus and a GREAT BIG KISS between Enobarbus and his pirate boyfriend, and there was much rejoicing.

Una said...

Not performed in his lifetime? That's like Beethoven never hearing the 9th. I wish I could have seen Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter, I was wondering as I wrote what they made of it. She is a wonderful Harriet Vane to Edward Petherbridge's Lord Peter Wimsey.