Top positive review
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Rylance and Fry and Chahidi, Oh My!
on 3 April 2014
And the too soon departed Roger Lloyd-Pack.
Thank God and the Globe that someone had the foresight to film this performance. This is sheer, blissful, give-yourself-over-to-it fun. The laughs started with the opening scene, and the first scream laughs started with Mark Rylance' first footfall on the stage, if you could call it that. He certainly looked like he had on skates under that beautiful dress.
I had the great good fortune to see this leaning on the front of the stage at the new Globe in London, then eight months later from a seat on the stage in New York. I was able to secure the entire second row of the center orchestra and filled it with friends. One of the greatest joys of my life, at least thus far, was being able to look past the footlights and see the faces of my closest friends, second row center, convulsed with laughter. Three of the men kept handkerchiefs in hand, wiping away tears of laughter.
I have seen hundreds of productions of Shakespeare's plays. I can confidently state I will never see a better production. Rylance is never less than perfection, Fry's Malvolio's preening courtship of Rylance' Olivia, spurred by Chahidi's Maria was supremely funny, but I don't think you could expect less from that trio.
Unfortunately, Roger Lloyd-Pack was too ill to make the trip to New York, but thank goodness, his performance as Sir Andrew Aguecheek is preserved here during the London run.
Well, here's that word that any of us hate to use when reviewing any Shakespeare performance, this play is ridiculously accessible. Anybody, from scholars to music hall holdouts, will enjoy this play. It is impossible not to.
I've just ordered seven more dvd's of this. The fifteen I've already ordered are scattered to friends as mementos of one of the best nights of theater I've ever enjoyed, or to people who were never able to get to NY to see it.
Buy this, and settle in for an evening of delight, knowing you're seeing performers at the pinnacle of their powers.