Twelfth Night

A gloriously streamlined production for television, set in a Giotto Illyria all out of sorts. The lady pines for her late brother and falls in love with a shipwrecked lass in men’s guise, Sir Toby Belch is an old Lear to his niece the lady and a Falstaff to her chambermaid, Sir Andrew Aguecheek is the nowadays ubiquitous freak “nor Christian, nor ordinary man” and undone by bully beef.

Malvolio the lady’s chamberlain is a priss cross-gartered and yellow-stockinged by stratagem to prove the madman he is.

Shakespeare is a genius with a goose pen, even. Guinness, Plowright, Richardson, Corri, Raymond, Steele (as the fool), Shakespeare’s great preoccupations, the nonsense state, even to faux marriage.


The Merchant of Venice

A television rendering of the National Theatre production set centuries before the author’s time, for what is oldest is newest and best, your nineteenth century is but a forerunner of Shakespeare’s glorious age, and so forth.

The Christian husbands and the Jewish moneylender, alike forsworn because alike forgetting the object paid affection because it’s due, the world is full of trammels and crosses.

Olivier, Plowright, Brett, Jayston et al., attired brilliantly in appropriate settings.