Saturday, 8 May 2010

theatre - shakespeare's antony & cleopatra

8 may 2010

diana, agota, mathilde, and i went to see shakespeare's tragedy 'antony and cleopatra' at the nuffield theatre today. i had high expectations about the play, maybe because last week i saw an outstanding interpretation of another master work in english literature, 'the canterbury tales', but this one comes the from the The Nuffield Theatre Company itself, which is very good, i must say. after the play we discussed how shakespeare has really made everyone interested in presenting their interpretation of his plays.

a few lines from the play. my source is literary sparks note:
cleopatra: if it be love indeed, tell me how much.
antony: it would be a pretty stingy love if it could be counted and calculated.
cleopatra: i want to measure the extent of your love, to see how far it stretches.
antony: then you would have to go beyond heaven, beyond earth.

note: the text in blue below is the advertisement from the theatre:
The Nuffield Theatre Company
Antony and Cleopatra
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Patrick Sandford
Dates: 6 – 22 May

The tangled love story of two powerful leaders.
Their infatuation is politically disastrous and ethically irresponsible. ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA lead untidy lives; ultimately they abandon any sense of duty to their nations, and yet on a personal level they fulfil each other, completely and utterly. They celebrate magnificently humanity, love and life…
Shakespeare tells us this in his most beautiful language. The play is passionate, ironic, sometimes highly comic, and finally profoundly sad. Yet audiences over the centuries have always felt uplifted by the sheer energy and generosity of spirit in this great play.

after the play we 'played' a little around the theatre making these short films to send to a girl, for her boyfriend. then we were headed to the stilo, this pub right there on university road, 3-min walk from the nuffield. i love the geography of this uni with all these amazing facilities at walking distance from each other. at the pub we ate crisps and drank white wine. the kitchen there closes at 9pm. the way pubs work here deserves a post. but let me be back to consideration on shakespeare's portrayal of love, i mean, tragic love.

here is our discussion on the play / shakespeare: - of course we should always find in any intrepretation of shakespeare's work a great deal of old english, no matter how much of modern stuff is put into it. - we cannot understand the language from beginning to end because it is really difficult, but still worth every single penny to listen to it in the original language. - well, this is a quite macho representation of human relations: 1. antony never has one woman only, and that is fine; 2. cleopatra is dramatic about everything. se is this fragile female who is always expecting this man. when he is around she needs to be ascertained ofhis love for her; 3. her lady and attendant iras is way too neurotic, crying and passing out whenever things get a little difficult; 4. the men are strong and make all the decisions. LOOOL we also pointed out that otavia, antoni's second wife, is actually more beautiful than cleopatra in the play, but cleopatra sends out a messenger to check out the woman, to make sure she is nothing special. DUH!!!!; 5. the black actress who portrays chamian, the other one of cleopatra's attendants, is a really good actress, and sings beautifully. last but not least at all: it has been a super chilly spring. all days have been cold. it was 9 degrees at night, but it felt much colder. england never gets really 'hot'.


  1. hi aunt kalina! this is your niece, letícia, remember me? i hope you do (:
    i found this blog through your orkut, and since then i've been reading it sometimes. really cool that you are living in england, i didn't remember that! it's a country i really would like to visit sometime in my life. by the way, you have a perfect english, i must say. i'm quite jealous, haha! mom nídia also told me today you can speak fluent italian too, which is impressive! italy is another favourite country of mine which i fell in love recently, and it also has a language i'd like to learn sometime soon.
    i hope everything is going well there, and i'm really admiring your abilities, lol! hope you are alright.
    take care xx

  2. hey leticia!
    of course i do remember you. good to to hear form you and that you are so good in english.
    please say hello to everyone.
    big hugs,
    aunt kalina

  3. Leticia, not just English and Italian, French too...and I may be missing something else for sure....ah, Ceares hahaha