Posts tagged ‘maori’

April 29, 2014

Mike Jonathan: “Road to the Globe: ‘Troilus & Cressida'”

Road to the Globe

Documentary
First Released: 2012
Run Time: 52 minutes

Synopsis: The Road to the Globe is an “all access” documentary which charts the historic performance of Shakespeare’s “Troilus & Cressida” in Te Reo Māori by Rawiri Paratene’s theatre company at the Globe in 2012.

In 2010, with the coming of the 2012 Olympic Games, the home of Shakespeare – The Globe issued a proclamation outlining the world’s biggest Shakespearean festival: 37 countries, 37 Shakespearean plays, 37 languages.

Rawiri Paratene answered the call and was duly given Shakespeare’s little known “Troilus & Cressida.” To raise the stakes, Rawiri and his theatre company were also charged with opening the festival.

The Road to the Globe follows Rawiri and theatre director Rachel House throughout the rehearsal period, where we meet key cast members and watch them confront their fears, struggle with lines and moves and ultimately lift each other up to face their opening curtain.

My Thoughts: This is a short documentary whose quick pace makes it feel even shorter, but, as predicted, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. The Trojan War, Shakespeare, behind-the-scenes footage, and discussions of language and culture – this is a whole bunch of things I love all in one movie, and it pains me that I don’t actually have a lot to say about it.

· As someone who knows essentially nothing about Māori culture, I would have loved more information about the costumes, the dances, and the make-up used in the play. I also would have appreciated subtitles for the interviewees who code-switched (for example, by starting a sentence in English and finishing it in Māori). At the same time, however, I accept that monolingual white Canadians are probably not this movie’s target audience, and the filmmakers’ decision to not include subtitles or cultural explanations is a fair one.

· I loved Paratene’s story about celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday every year.

· From what I’ve been able to see of this production of “Troilus and Cressida,” both in this movie and in the videos linked below, it looks like it was AMAZING. Creative staging, the addition of nonverbal humour, actors who fit their roles perfectly, and a firm setting in Māori culture. I also love how the female characters seem to have been given more to do than usual – I am completely in favour of bringing Andromache onstage for more than her ONE scene!

While I would have loved it if this documentary were longer, even at less than an hour it’s a really valuable look at what must have been a fantastic production, and it does a good job of showing the myriad emotions experienced by those involved. If you think you’d find it interesting, I highly recommend checking it out.

Watch: the trailer, a clip from the movie, a news clip, the first three minutes of the play, a thirty-minute video about adapting the play: part one and part two

Buy it at: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca

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March 9, 2014

Three “Troilus and Cressida” Trailers

My confusing obsession with William Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida” continues, although unfortunately not in any productive way. In the tradition of my Three Plays I Wish I Could See post, here are three “Troilus and Cressida”-related videos that I found while wasting time on YouTube.

1) “Troilus and Cressida” by Cheek by Jowl (video link)

This trailer is for British company Cheek by Jowl’s 2008 production of the play. The only sounds in this quiet trailer are hushed dialogue and haunting music; that and the colourless modern outfits make me think this production was going for a pretty unique tone. I would have loved to see it, although the clown mask seen on the web site would probably have given me nightmares for weeks.

Also on Cheek by Jowl’s YouTube channel is a trailer for a 2009 production of Jean Racine’s “Andromaque.” Which also would have given me nightmares for weeks.

2) “Troilus and Cressida” by Hillcrest High School (video link)

YouTube did not exist when I was in high school but man I would have loved to have trailers for the musical theatre shows I took part in. I am impressed both by the number of guys in this 2013 production (my high school could barely scrounge up enough guys for our Pride and Prejudice musical) and by the fact that a high school performing arts department took on “Troilus and Cressida,” which is not the easiest of plays! I think the music is mainly what sells this trailer but the play itself doesn’t look half bad and I genuinely love that Pandarus seems to have been played by a woman.

3) Road to the Globe: “Troilus & Cressida” (video link)

Unlike the above two trailers, this is not a trailer for the play itself; it’s for a documentary about the production of the play that was performed in Māori at the Globe Theatre’s Globe to Globe Festival in 2012. A documentary about “Troilus and Cressida” being performed in a different language?! This is at least three of my favourite things all together in one movie and I cannot wait to see it. In the meantime, I definitely plan to watch the thirty-minute video I found on YouTube about the process of translating the play into Maori (part one and part two). Update: Check out my review!