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Too tired, too lazy. And incapable of finding two brain-cells active enough to string together an at least half-coherent sentence between them...

Sunday evening:

Been to the open air theatre in Perchtoldsdorf with M* and AL*, 'Was Ihr wollt' ('Twelfth Night'), well produced, light and very funny indeed. Struck a good balance, too, comedy with slapstick elements, but also enough serious moments not to become too lightweight. Characters toying with gender and behavioural stereotypes, but none of them so two dimensional as to become a caricature or lose their humanity (though Olivia did come rather close). The romance part of the story not very deeply developed, but presented with enough self-irony that one didn't exactly need an explanation for people falling in love as fast and with as little motivation as they did.

On a sidenote, when did it become almost canonical to stage Antonio and Sebastian as lovers? I've seen quite a few productions and it was at least strongly implied in everyone. Not that I mind, but it gives an additional air of sadness to the end, when he's left out like that, because he's a very decent character and Sebastian's Oh there you are, I missed you (except when, you know, I got married. er) is rather cruel on that assumption. It was kept light enough here and not very important in the tumultuous end (Orsino finally not giving a damn whether Viola is a boy or girl, then mistaking Sebastian for her and kissing him...) but still a bit sad, because between Viola swooning over a man before she's ever seen him, Orsino for the most part being a self-indulgent, bad stereotype of the rejected lover and a quite hysterical Olivia veering wildly between rejection and he obsession, he played his part very straight forward with much genuine feeling. (And while it's kind of cute someone finally takes pity on Sir Andrew, even by default, it's also, er, Sir Andrew)

Nor did it turn quite as dark (as I've seen it done before) with the humiliation of Malvolio (though I'm always amazed what people will still laugh at). But the duel sequence right after was hilarious and lightened the mood again, Maria and Sir Toby trying to get the extremly reluctant Viola (who doesn't even know on which end to hold the sword) and Sir Andrew to fight; and especially once Antonio stepped in and offered to fight in Viola's place. Being dressed quite the gay stereotype, Sir Toby makes the mistake of not taking him serious and challenging him himself, as a result of which he gets beaten with equal skill and flourish and chased around the stage. A good kind of laughter...

I browsed through the play after, and maybe they did in fact take away much of the poetry and depth of emotion, but it was well thought through as it was and good entertainment, we laughed a lot.

Chulpan Khamatova a young, girlish, confused, very much out of her depth Viola, with the cutest Russian accent, occasionally switching over to Russian entirely.

Gregor Bloèb a maniacally scheming, almost Iago-esque Sir Toby, dressed in a kilt. (he.)

Karl Markovics a good Malvolio, a real person with faults and ambitions, rather than a stereotype, though maybe not quite obnoxious enough to invite the cruel joke played upon him.

Gerti Drassl a rather shrill Olivia, but with some touching moments.

[ETA 13.3.2008: four pictures removed, links defunct; a few others from the production here]


solitary summer

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