Measure for Measure - Critique


The Stratford Festival\'s rendition of "Measure for Measure", one of
Shakespeare\'s original "problem plays", can only be called mediocre at best.
While the drab, lifeless sets at first create an aura of poverty and des-
titution that may or may not have been prevailent in 17th century Vienna,
the lack of variety eventually tires the eyes, and begins to mildly irritate
the senses. With the lack of colour present on stage, one would hope that
the actor\'s performances would add some colour...and one would be unfortun-
atly dissapointed. The acting, again, is no better than mediocre with few
exceptions, those being most notably, the Vincentio (as Duke and Friar) and
Froth, the pudgy board-house owner. The other characters are most obviously
unassumed by the actors and are carried through with a sense of distance
and unfamiliarity, seldom seem at a a festival as prestigious as North
America\'s largest and arguably best Shakespearian festival. The play carries
on for almost 3 hours, and is tempered with boredom (e.g. Isabella\'s laughably
unimpassioned speech to Angelo), and momentary spots of humour (e.g. the some-
times hilarious exchange between Lucio, a servant to the Duke, and the Duke
disguised as a friar. This moment of ironic comedy is certainly one of the
play\'s highlights, and is a model for many modern humour pieces) which all
serve to create a less than enthralling afternoon of "not so high" drama. I
will not attempt to explain the plot, as one of the play\'s redeeming factors
is the suspense created by the soap operatic storyline. All in all,"MFM" is an
average play written by an exceptional writer, performed no more than
competantly by gifted actors, on a boring, uninteresting stage, thus we
can equate : The God of Drama - less than excellent play
-------------------------------------------------- = X
Excellent actors - poor performance - poor staging
X = Waste of money and time...Do not see this play. If you
are truly curious about the nature of this play, save yourself the money,
visit the local library\'s literature section and read it...the printed
word brings out the play\'s ironic intricacies far more than this unexciting
rendition ever will. So, if you find yourself in a little town called
Stratford, pay no attention to an unknown play called Measure for Measure...
instead, take a walk on the banks of the Avon and enjoy what nature has to
offer...
Key
=== Acting: (3)
Set: (3)
= And they get PAID Props: (3)
for this !?! Costuming: (4)
The Play Itself (writing): (4)
= They\'re not serious Overall Visual Impact: 1/2 (3.5)
are they ? Creative Interpretation: 1/2 (3.5)

= Oh...that\'s it? Overall: 1/2 (3.5 / 5)

= If I were easily impressed,
I\'d probably be impressed right now...

= Cool...