by Anne Stichter
February 9, 2016
(For the rest of them, you can find the full list at 7th and Jordan)
#10: The perfectly illustrated Porter scene
It is a belief of mine that – because Shakespeare’s language is inaccessible to most people today – the text in Shakespeare’s plays must be illustrated. This means it should be acted out, suiting the action to the word, and the word to the action, so that the hearer can understand it even if the words themselves are unclear. Though the cast as a whole succeeded in communicating the intricacies of the story through the potential barrier of the language, the best instance of illustrated Shakespeare was Chris J. Handley’s rendition of the Porter’s scene. The way in which each line was acted out, from the farmer hanging himself to the things which liquor most provokes, made it easy to understand what was being said, see the relationship of the Porter to the characters with whom he interacts, and gave the audience permission and reason to laugh in the middle of a dark play: all of this exactly as, I believe, the Bard intended it to be.