Thursday, September 27, 2007


So a bit more about Twelfe/Twelfth Night. (Yeah, I spent my morning commute thinking about Shakespeare. Don't you?).

I'm wondering if I have the "A" and "B" stories completely backwards. The "A" story is the whole Orsino-Olivia-Viola triangle, and the "B" story is Toby Blech and his posse pranking Malvolio. But what if its the other way around - the play is called "Twelfth Night", after all, which is traditionally a time of carousing and festival (attempts to set it the Christmas Season just don't work - there is a three-month time lapse in the first act alone). And the Malvolio arc always seems to garner more attention in reviews and criticism than the romance.

Plus, in the Rep's case, they did a lot of business with Belch, and his cronies Curio and Aguecheek hiding in a dresser that feels like the Brothers Marx. Could it be that the purpose of the original was to show off the slapstick forms, and the entire love triangle only existed as a frame, sort of like the love story in "A Night at the Opera". Was calling "Twelfth Night" sending a signal of what to expect, sort of like calling a college film "Animal House"? Is the Belch/Malvolio arc the important one?

(On the other hand, the love-triangle arc characters are established first, and at the close, Toby and his band are off stage, and Malvolio has been dragged off, leaving the original "A" plot on-stage, so I may just be blowing smoke on this).

The other thing that occurred to me was the sense of Trinity in the creation of character on the stage. Not quite Father-Son-Holy Ghost, but rather Playwright-Actor-Director. While the reviews always seems to equate actor and role, he is just the final display of a group effort to bring character to life. But in the end, its the actor, the mortal incarnation is alone on the stage, the director in the shadows (Holy G), the playwright completely absent (Creator/Father).

Then again, maybe a better trinity would be bones (playwright), muscle (actor) and skin (director). Its just something to think about.

Why yes, it was a long commute today. Your point?

More later,