Bartholomew Fair

We went to two lectures about his play to try to get a feel for it. Both lecturers (one of whom was Sandy Leggatt) described it as impossible to read, so we did not even try. Leggatt described it as being like watching a Breughel painting – no centre, but many things going on all over. This was a very apt description.
There was a plot of sorts (more than we expected), but mostly it was just continuous action. The sight of Lucy Peacock as Ursula the pig woman was totally amazing, as was her performance. Kelli Fox slid around on a litttle platform and still managed to dominate the stage. Jonathan Goad was excellent as usual. Trent Pardy as Bartholomew Cokes was just like a puppy – totally captivating and another young actor to watch.
It is wonderful that Stratford is taking the risks of putting on a play like Bartholomew Fair. Seeing plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries really helps put him in a context and increases your understanding and appreciation for what the Elizabethan theatre must have been like.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Jonson, Stratford 2009. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bartholomew Fair

  1. Keith says:

    Cathy and I are talking too much before she posts – I have nothing to disagree with. I was expecting it to be much harder to follow than it was. Whether this is because, as Sandy Leggett said, "It is a better play on its feet than on the page" or because the strength of the Stratford production, I don't know – probably a combination of the two. It far more a play representing a time and place, rather than Shakespeare's eternal images and questions, but it provides context for Shakespeare's works and stands on its own feet as an interesting play.I hope Stratford continues to do Shakespeare's contemporaries.

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