Thursday, July 26, 2012

And now for something a little different...

So far this year we've read and studied just one play - The Comedy of Errors, which was great fun. We read it over the May and June meetings. When we met in July, we had our first guest speaker for the year, Grant Malcolm, well-known around Perth for his productions of the bard's works - notably for the GRADS company at the University of Western Australia.

Only a few months ago, Grant directed Love's Labours Lost for this company. He shared some of his modus operandi with us - how he chooses plays and what factors come into play in doing so, and he also spoke of the difficulties of presenting Shakespeare in countries where English is not the native tongue. He was once involved in directing a translation of Love's Labours Lost in Afghanistan, and his experiences were both entertaining and thought-provoking, leading to a discusssion of the difficulties inherent in adapting any work of art for another medium, language or culture.

Next month we are going to essay a non-Shakespearean work, Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Contemporary with Shakespeare, Marlow died tragically young, yet he had already influenced other playwrights of the day, including Shakespeare.

The Perth Shakeseare Club's original mission statement, created over eight decades ago, mentions the study and possible production of plays by other authors, so although this venture into Marlowe's oeuvre is a new experience for the current membership, it is not a new one for the club. Sadly, I will not be in town for our next meeting on 19 August, but I'll look forward to hearing the second half of the play read at our September meeting.