La revue de presse

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La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Lun 29 Déc 2008 - 18:15

Theater Review: Lovers Still Bickering, In War And Peace (The New York Time, 30 mars 1998).
Benedick stands apart from the other soldiers by virtue of his prickly, slightly clownish self-consciousness, a feeling compounded by Mr. Macfadyen's striking resemblance to John Cleese.

Theatre: The Bard would have loved it (The Independent, jeudi 11 juin 1998).
Instead of the predictable cute- meet, Beatrice and Benedick's protracted pairing-off is the result of male public-school fear and disdain of women. When Benedick is fooled into loving Beatrice, Matthew Macfadyen's literal fall from upright behaviour is gloriously funny.
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Brit crit

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 22 Jan 2009 - 22:54

Par Francine Russo (The Village Voice, 7 avril 1998).
St. Nicholas
By Conor son

Primary Stag
354 West 45th Street
333-4052

Much Ado About Nothing
By William Shakespeare

Brooklyn Academy of Music
30 Lafayette Avenue
718-636-4100

Maybe they bar lesser actors from crossing the Atlantic and that's what's responsible for the cliche that the Brits leave us in the dust when it comes to a certain kind of masterful performance. However it happens, some tour de force examples are on the boards just now. In St. Nichols, Brian Cox infuses new lines with a gravity and fury that expands and enriches them. In Cheek By Jowl's Much Ada About Nothing, Matthew Macfadyen leads a sterling cast as Benedick and surprises us with lines we've heard all our lives.

Cox plays a Dublin theater critic, vicious and powerful, who spews venom from his spiritual emptiness, scorning himself and the theater people he destroys. He mesmerizes us with a tale of middle-aged despair that spirals out of bounds as he develops a desperate crush on a young actress and goes off on a bender, which is vividly recalled as a sojourn among vampires.

Cox locks us in his grip from his first utterance-in the dark from the back of the theater. A massively disturbed presence with a resonating voice, he confides in us, hesitating as he searches for words, and teases us with pauses. Most of all, his face and his body seem weighted by misery; he quivers with a piercing pain. Hands in pockets, he speaks of the wife who, unaccountably, stays with him and the daughter he adores but cannot look in the eye. "One day you look around, he says, devastatingly summing up family life, "and you're all in each other's way" Conor McPherson, directing tautly, gives us a rumination on storytelling spun of elaborate yarns and studded with inventive details. Each tale unfolds to reveal an inset story, like the fairy tale told by the vampire about a man who used a magic watch to visit his dead wife. The telling is spellbinding, but what the narrator allegedly learns about his own humanity doesn't take him-or us-very far. Ultimately, the play is an extended literary conceit with one indelible performance.

IT MAY NOT be fair to single out Matthew Macfadyen from Much Ado's able and spirited cast, but his portrayal of Benedick shines out brightly from Declan Donnellan's darkly shaded Edwardian-dress production.

Working with the simple design of Nick Ormerod's movable cloth panels and columned entrances, Donnellan creates a festive elegance that smacks of excess. The men are insensitive sillies and worse-as Claudio, Bohdan Poraj displays a glee at Hero's downfall that is truly revolting. The second half is dark indeed, and love seems a danger to be shunned.

After she succumbs to Cupid, the cheeky, aristocratic Saskia Reeves as Beatrice falls pale and stricken from her independent hauteur. Even earlier, at the great ball, her witty barbs, lobbed at Benedick over the din, have a dissonant quality. She chugs back too many glasses of champagne, and all the day-after folk groan with hangovers.

Macfadyen, a John Cleese clone, displays a comic innocence straddling Monty Python and Gilbert and Sullivan. Hilarious in itself, his performance throws into relief the brutes around him. The scene where his friends drop hints of Beatrice's hopeless love for him is a comic high point. The actor, with priceless expressions and eyebrow gymnastics, is dumbfounded and inspired. "The world," he vows, valiantly sacrificing himself, "must be peopled!" He makes us laugh so hard, we'd think we never heard the line before.
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Theatre: There's much ado, and it's all in perfect order

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 22 Jan 2009 - 23:00

Par Robert Butler (The Independent, 14 juin 1998).
AFTER 25 productions, this is it. Declan Donnellan's Much Ado About Nothing, which arrives at the Playhouse, is Cheek by Jowl's last. A terrific way to go.

Everything in this exuberant production has been thought through with scrupulous intelligence. The soldiers returning from war enter an Edwardian world of silver tea-pots, elbow-length gloves and parasols: about as modern as you can get while still hanging on to a period in which a woman can ask her suitor to kill someone as a matter of honour.

Nick Ormerod's design of cotton banners combines with Judith Greenwood's lighting to give a strong sequential sense of one day going into the next as we move from dappled afternoon light to the evening glow of the party - where Saskia Reeves's frisky Beatrice has more bubble than the champagne - to the glare of the morning sun as they nurse their hangovers. These officers are a boisterous public-school bunch who clearly need to mature. In this expertly delineated production, we see them do just that. Reeves is marvellously equal to their narrow back- slapping bonhomie. Her sharp tongue isn't merely cerebral: as she narrows her eyes, or feigns vomiting when Claudio makes a charming remark, her disdain springs from a physical impatience. The period works well for Beatrice's rival: Matthew Macfadyen's lugubrious, upright Benedict has a drawling laugh, raised eyebrows and military bearing. His amused certainty comes from rank rather than intellect. It would madden any woman. Time and again, actors reach the edge of the stage and argue their case. When they break back into scenes, Donnellan shapes them into powerful dramatic units. He is constantly inventive: using freezes, overlaps, slow motion, and concurrent scenes which sharpen our grasp of the narrative. He choreographs the company, using them as an element of stage design, to provide the physical context: a dance, a church service. When Hero (Sarita Choudhury) collapses in church, water is called for, and her guilty attendant Margaret (Zoe Aldrich) takes a swig from the glass before handing it on to her mistress. When the immature Claudio (Bohdan Poraj) speaks his epitaph to Hero he reads from a piece of paper. Halfway through, genuine emotion breaks through and he bursts into tears. The ironies are delightful. In proper showbiz style, I hope this Much Ado is only the first of a number of exits that Cheek by Jowl will make.
[...]
'Much Ado': Playhouse, WC2 (0171 839 4401) to 25 Jul.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Ven 22 Mai 2009 - 18:41

Par Sheridan Morley (International Herald Tribune, 24 juin 1998).
At the Playhouse, we bid a sad farewell to Declan Donnellan's Cheek By Jowl touring company, which he has decided to mothball at precisely the time we need it most, what with the Royal Shakespeare Company still in financial and artistic trouble, Theatre de Complicite in America and almost nothing worthwhile on the road to keep regional theaters alive when they are in the gravest danger of closure.

But Cheek By Jowl goes out on a high, with ''Much Ado About Nothing,'' a characteristically joyous revamp of a familiar play, full of new bisexual suggestions about some of its principal characters. Donnellan and his designer-partner Nick Ormerod have made of a difficult, constantly twisting and turning text a wondrously funny and wise comedy that stars Matthew Macfadyen as a laid-back Benedick, Bohdan Poraj as an unusually gay Claudio and Saskia Reeves as a feisty, feminist and ultimately murderous Beatrice. Set at the turn of the century, this is precisely the kind of production that the RSC now seems to find so elusive, and as Donnellan goes on to ''Le Cid'' for Avignon and then a ''Boris Godunov'' in Moscow, we shall sorely miss Cheek By Jowl's ever quirky, unexpected, irreverent reworkings of the Bard and the sheer exhilaration that floods through the theater as we join the debate about love and death and fidelity and sexuality that lies at the center of this black comedy.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 14:04

On peut passer à côté d'une mise en scène : la preuve dans Libération du 6 mai 1998.

Voici, néanmoins, cet extrait :
«La pièce est suffisamment compliquée pour qu'il soit utile d'en rajouter», dit Declan Donnellan, 44 ans, animateur avec le scénographe Nick Ormerod de la compagnie britannique Cheek by Jowl.
Very Happy
Depuis 1981, la troupe revisite les classiques du répertoire mondial en évitant les effets de mise en scène pour se focaliser sur le seul jeu de l'acteur. Après avoir parcouru avec une ardeur de tour operator quelques centaines de villes à travers le globe, Cheek by Jowl, qui avait fait en 1994, à l'invitation de Peter Brook, un passage aux Bouffes du Nord avec un Comme il vous plaira de première fraîcheur, vient se poser pour quelques jours en France pour donner, à Rennes d'abord, puis ces jours-ci au Maillon de Strasbourg (les deux théâtres ont produit le spectacle) la comédie de Shakespeare en version originale. Si le surtitrage schématise le propos, la limpidité du dispositif vaut quand même le détour. Pour entrer dans les jardins et les palais de Messine, quelques stores déroulants avec projections de couleurs suffisent à nourrir l'imagination. Le dynamisme, la mobilité et la sensualité d'une troupe impeccablement rodée font le reste, et donnent à l'ensemble, costumes d'opérette et musique guillerette aidant, le charme d'une comédie légère.
Je m'arrête là... Shocked
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 17:29

Merci pour l'article de Libé.
Je ne suis pas sûr de bien comprendre le sens de tes commentaires : pourquoi "passer à côté" et "néanmoins" ? Il me semble que la critique est plutôt positive à l'égard de DD et sa mise en scène.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 18:07

A la limite du contresens : la méconnaissance de l'anglais et les partis pris de la mise en scène estompent les ambiguïtés d'une pièce qui n'en est pourtant pas avare.
En tirant la pièce vers ses aspects burlesques et en rendant ses héros charmants, Declan Donnellan donne du liant à une intrigue bourrée d'apories et construit avec beaucoup de métier un spectacle agréable à l'oeil et à l'oreille, formaté aux standards internationaux. Au risque de la dépouiller de tout mystère et de mélancolie.
Je n'appelle pas cela une critique plutôt positive... J'entends moi que Declan est un "faiseur" à la limite du contre-sens...
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 18:30

Et qui méconnaît l'anglais ?

Mon avis est que la critique d'une mise en scène appelle souvent la critique du texte et ne se confond pas avec elle.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 19:37

et qui méconnaît l'anglais ? pas Shakespeare, tout de même ? Laughing

mais les traductions sans doute ("Si le surtitrage schématise le propos") : donc ici moins la critique du texte que celle des conditions du jeu. Shocked
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 20:10

Jeudi 4 juin 2009 : Luce et Matthieu faisaient le constat qu'ils n'étaient pas du tout d'accord entre eux sur leur interprétation d'une critique théâtrale. study
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 20:31

Et Luce le confirmait à 22h31.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 20:35

Mais heureusement, la presse nationale n'en dit rien le lendemain.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 20:37

Et fit bien.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 20:40

Et Luce eut le dernier mot...
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Jeu 4 Juin 2009 - 20:43

et pas Matthieu... study
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Marina le Dim 7 Juin 2009 - 6:04

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Sylvie V le Dim 7 Juin 2009 - 16:09

Luce, Matthieu, votre "échange" rempli de verve était plus divertissant que toutes les critiques du monde! Very Happy
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Mer 8 Juil 2009 - 8:14

Voici, pour comparaison, une critique franchement négative.

Much Ado About Nothing, par John Simon (New York, 20 avril 1998).
England's highly-touted cheek by jowl, briefly seen at BAM, brought us a dismal Much Ado About Nothing, whose title supplies a succinct epitaph for all of that company's offerings. The group, run by the director Declan Donnellan and the designer Nick Ormerod, has just announced its temporary disbanding (possibly because that duo is no longer cheek by jowl), and none too soon for my taste. If any play needs more atmosphere than a wishy-washy unit set consisting of several raised or lowered bits of oblong canvas, monotonously lighted by the irrelevant snowflake projections of Judith Greenwood, this is the one. Paddy Cunneen's music, screechily inapposite Irish jigs scraped out on one or two instruments, is as unhelpful as the by-now-cliched Edwardian costuming. The direction is unimaginably unimaginative; the acting, without exception, worse.

To do this dashingly aristocratic farandole with barely middle-class accents and countenances, the actors squeezing out words like blackheads, is like imposing on us a poetry recital by a preternaturally brutish troglodyte. The one comely presence was the Hero of Sarita Choudhury, who, however, had the worst diction. I'll mention only Stephen Mangan's plebeian Don Pedro, Bohdan Poraj's loutish street-comer Claudio, Matthew Macfadyen's unsuccessful John Cleese impersonation as Benedick, and Saskia Reeves's pip-squeaky Beatrice--those airy lovers no closer to champagne than rubbing alcohol. Leaving appalled at the break, I wondered how the yet-to-come Verges and Dogberry could possibly achieve the necessary increment doltishness. I am told they managed.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Jeu 21 Jan 2010 - 19:37

Fresh takes on familiar lines (The Stage, 11 juin 1998). Very Happy
At the heart of the play Saskia Reeves' mischievous, cigar-smoking Beatrice is a spirited spinster with a deliciously fresh take on familiar lines. But the revelation is Matthew MacFadyen's expressive body language and eyebrows as her unwitting lover Benedick. Sentimental fool that I am, I had to wipe away a tear or two at their passionate betrothal in the 'Kill Claudio' scene. Lovely stuff.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Matthieu le Sam 27 Nov 2010 - 21:16

What a gay play (The Guardian, 8 juin 1998).

Okey blokey (The Observer, 14 juin 1998).
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Sam 2 Juil 2011 - 20:30

De Dominic Cavendish (Time Out, 10 juin 1998) sur le site de Cheek by Jowl.
Cheek by Jowl's farewell production touches down after an international tour that has had foreign critics swooning with admiration. You can see why. This Much Ado displays many of the qualities that have made the company's co founders, director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, so revered over the past 17 years. The staging is lucid and fluid , with every member of the ensemble gainfully employed in the task of telling the sex war comedy in a manner that is choreographed without being showy, as tightly bound as a corset and yet still pulsating with life.

There is no set to speak of, just an array of cream-coloured banners descending from on high and on to which leafy coloured light is projected. The sense of place, turn of the century England, is conveyed mainly through the characters. The soldiers, with their pristine bottle green uniforms, waxed short back and sides and daft moustaches look like out-sized escapees from a Victorian children's nursery. Their behaviour, however, is more redolent of boarding school types at a garden party: braying, sniggering and point-scoring, they freeze in group portraits of the absurd, latently homosexual horseplay. The women, in nondescript white skirts and blouses, share the same clipped enunciation, but they're from a different planet as far as the men are concerned. When Bohdan Poraj's clueless Claudio is given Hero's hand in marriage, he rushes not into her arms but into those of Don Pedro (Stephen Mangan) the friend who wooed her on his behalf.

The point is sufficiently well made that this is a gender-polarised world which Benedick, our sworn bachelor hero, and Beatrice, the sworn spinster with whom he spars, are wise to break from. We watch in delight as Matthew Macfadyen's superb Benedick and Saskia Reeves' schoolmarmish Beatrice are tricked into love via hilarious eavesdropping scenes and arrive at weepy eyed affection. As if we didn't know how it would end, Cheek by Jowl are bowing out on a high.
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Re: La revue de presse

Message  Luce le Jeu 22 Mai 2014 - 10:30

Much Ado About Nothing (Cheek by Jowl) (What's On Stage, 18 mai 1998).
WOS Rating: 5 Like a Star @ heaven 

Spoiler:
Much Ado About Nothing at the Playhouse Theatre

In a move that will cause sadness to a great many theatre-goers, production company Cheek by Jowl is bowing out of the UK theatre scene after 17 years. The company made its name with a series of though-provoking productions of classical drama and modern plays and with this, its swan song, it has more than met its enduringly high standards.

Before Much Ado About Nothing, the last Shakespearean outing from the company was the all-male As You Like It, a production that played a great deal on the sexual ambiguities in the play. It is a theme that is partly returned to in Declan Donnellan s Much Ado where Don Pedro s soldiers are obviously more at home with each other than they are dealing with the pleasantries of Leonato s Messina household. Set in the late Victorian era, the soldiers behave as if they have barely escaped the confines of their public schools. It is a world in which women are distinctly shut out and the men revel in their own company.

In particular, Don Pedro s wooing of Hero on behalf of Claudio takes on a distinctly homo-erotic air; he looks upon his protégé with barely disguised longing and, when Hero does agree to marry Claudio, he rushes to embrace Pedro before his supposed beloved. Stephen Mangan is excellent as a Don Pedro who, disconcertingly, resembles Lord Lucan.

Matthew Macfadyen s Benedick is a braying, oafish individual who one senses is dragged reluctantly into wooing Saskia Reeves sprightly Beatrice. This is not a production in which one gets the impression that Beatrice and Benedick s verbal sparring masks a well-hidden love. The verbal sparring between the two has real bite.

Not everything works: Paul Goodwin s Don John is one of the least villainous villains and neither Bohdan Poraj s Claudio nor Sarita Choudhary s Hero really convince as devoted lovers.

Nevertheless, this is a thought-provoking, intelligent production that brings life to a play often thought of as mere verbal froth. As the play ends, one does wonder at what sort of future the two couples have together; much like theatre-goers have to face without Cheek by Jowl.

Maxwell Cooter
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Re: La revue de presse

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