The Loves of Shakespeare’s Women
Susannah York @ Scott Theatre
6:30pm, Sun 17 Mar 2002
Short Review: Great, but not compelling
Susannah York certainly does not look anywhere near her age as she briskly strides onto the candle-fronted stage, pausing briefly to light four more candles on a candelabra, before plunging into the first of a selection of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Thereafter follows a “best-of” hour, featuring some of The Bard’s most famous female characters (and a few lesser-known).
The romantics are covered with a soliloquy from Juliet; the tragedies represented by Emilia (from “Othello”); but best of all are the comedic females: Beatrice (“Much Ado…”) and The Merry Wives of Windsor. And these were just the stand-out performances; 16 characters and 3 sonnets were covered.
Along with each character piece came a little insight into the character, as interpreted by York herself. This was intriguing, seeing how a world-class actress analyses a character in order to best portray her. Also forthcoming were personal anecdotes pertaining to particular productions – the tale of Hamlet in Brooklyn was particularly amusing. And the news that The Bard’s work was to be dropped from the school curriculum in the UK was disturbing…
There is no doubting York’s pedigree – she is a sterling actress, easily able to emote any of the chosen parts – both sad and glad. However, while this is certainly an entertaining show, it’s hardly what I would consider compelling – but that’s the only grouch I’ve got. Brava!