Theatre of the 21st century should be looking forward not looking back.
Discuss the above statement in relation to the play you have seen in performance and with reference to its original performance conditions.
The play we saw was twelfth night and there were many modern aspects to the play that moved the play into the 21st century. However there were also elements of the play that remained in original performance conditions. Although it is important to modernise twelfth night in order to make the play enjoyable to a modern audience if stripped too much of originality it can lack comprehensiveness and humour.
In the performance we saw all but one of the cast members wore what looked like their own clothes as their costume. The only actor to not wear casual attire was sir Toby Belch. Sir Toby wore traditional Shakespearean clothing typical to what the actor in Shakespearean times. I believe that this was done in order to highlight how out of place Sir Toby is within the play. He is a free spirited, unruly character and although he is within the higher class he doesn’t act like it. All the other actors had very casual costumes. This showed clearly to the audience that the performance was going to be very modern, however it did cause confusion at times because when actors switched to other roles it was hard to identify which character they were playing. Contrastingly in Shakespearean times all the actors would have elaborate costumes clearly stating what characters they were playing. Female characters would wear heavy make-up and dresses, this clearly shows the actor is a woman. However in the modern performance the character playing Feste/Maria was a woman and all she did to show a change in character was put on a red clown nose when playing Feste. Yes this shows how she is a clown but when playing Maria it wasn’t clear she was a woman. In this case being too modern has resulted in lack of clarity compared to the Shakespearean era.
In the Shakespearean era...