Jan. 22nd, 2017

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The Two Noble Kinsmen is a play written in collaboration by Shakespeare and John Fletcher.  When it was announced the RSC were going to do a production I decided to go to assist my goal of seeing every Shakespeare play and getting a complete set of play magnets on my fridge.  (Only six to go!)  Even better, [personal profile] lexigent was also looking to go, so we arranged to meet up.

I chose this particular week to go because there was also an Unwrapped session, which would go into a little about the rehearsal process for the play.  There will be some spoilers in this review, but nothing major.

The Unwrapped was again very interesting.  The director, assistant director and the two main actors (the Kinsmen) showed how one of the early acts had developed as they worked on it, and gave a bit of depth to the two characters.  The key was to arrange the action so they couldn't physically comfort each other (yes, there were plenty of slash possibilities).  It also introduced an appalling 'knock, knock' joke (which wasn't in the actual production):

"Knock, knock!"

"Who's there?"

"Interrupting cow!"

"Interrup ..."

"Moo!"

In addition there was some background to the play, which is set in ancient Greece, specifically in the battles between Athens and Thebes, and we learnt about the supplications to the various gods.  None of which explained the Morris dance in the middle of the play.

Shakespeare wrote the acts at either end, and these were the ones where the speeches were harder to follow.  Fletcher had a more natural style, with much shorter speeches ressembling normal conversation.

As a play it's not particularly exciting, although quite dramatic.  I muddled up two of the characters, but
[personal profile] lexigent straightened me out in the interval.  It was enjoyable, well done and the props/scenery worked well (and were not conspicuous).  But I probably wouldn't see it again.  The ending, however, was a major surprise and one which was carried off very well.

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