theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins
by Eileen Atkins
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London
Until 23 February
Actors are often the sharpest judges of Shakespeare: a point proved by Ellen Terry, who in 1910 started touring a series of informal lecture-demonstrations on Shakespeare\’s characters. Eileen Atkins has now adapted them into a 75-minute show which offers the delirious pleasure of seeing one great actor inhabiting the mind and spirit of another.
Terry’s constant theme is that Shakespeare’s plays are a vindication of women, and that his female characters have more moral courage than his men. Her technique was to illustrate this through performance. It’s something that Atkins, clad all in blue and sporting a gown that gives her the look of a dashing don, follows to the letter. She steers us from the serious wit of Beatrice (“At least I didn’t make the mistake of being arch or skittish,” said Terry) to the lyrical ardour of Rosalind and the compassionate cleverness of Portia, whose speech on “the quality of mercy” is here delivered with a quiet sincerity that justifies comparison with the Lord’s Prayer. Read more…
via Ellen Terry With Eileen Atkins – review | Stage | The Guardian
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