“And then we come to the question of what to do about the rhymes, does the actor play them, or ignore them? I am sure that he should play them, because they are there in the text.”
- John Barton, Playing Shakespeare
I got a real kick out of that line. It’s not patronizing the way he says it, but yet I think that off camera and maybe on a grumpy day you could almost hear him add “you idiot” at the end of that sentence. :) [ I don’t know anything about the man’s real world directorial style, that’s just the way I imagine it going down. ]
It’s like a neat little summary of how to play Shakespeare, however infinitely complicated you may see it. “Hey, how should I play this scene?” “What’s it say in the text?” Repeat.
(To be fair, this quote comes in the middle of his lesson on irony, which Barton clearly admits is *not* clear in the text, and something you have to interpret for yourself. More on that in later posts.)