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【经济学人】纽约剧院 | 2016.12.17 | 总第764期

2017/1/12 5:03:12 来源:考研英语时事阅读 [ ]




  New York theatre


  Bard off-Broadway


  The stars align for a memorable production of “Othello”


  Dec 17th 2016


  IF YOU see only one production of “Othello” in your lifetime, make it the one which is on at the New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) until January 18th. Tickets sold out ages ago, but a cluster of hopefuls stand shivering outside before shows in case of returns. They are right to try.



  From the start, it is clear something is going on. The entire auditorium is plastered in plywood, with stadium seating arranged in the round. The set evokes an army barracks, with mattresses arranged in rows. Two men are already onstage before the play even starts, dressed like soldiers on break (camo shorts, chiselled muscles, shaved heads) and engrossed in the video-game “Guitar Hero”. If most productions of Shakespeare heighten how remote these works can feel by setting the action at a distant time in a distant land (a place where even American actors mysteriously sound English), this one, directed by Sam Gold, capitalises on the ways “Othello” is not just timeless but also timely. A tragedy about love, jealousy, war, ambition, race and rage, it feels startlingly appropriate in the world of today.


  This is Mr Gold’s first Shakespeare play. For a director who tends to collaborate with living playwrights on new work, this marks a departure. Mr Gold was eager for the challenge of a more formally rhetorical play, particularly if his experiment could be off-Broadway. “The smaller the audience, the easier it is for me to deliver the kind of performance that interests me,” he explains. Tackling the bard is “scary stuff”, he admits, but he has tried to treat “Othello” as if it were “a new play, without the burden of Shakespeare’s importance and the rules that come along with it”.



Sam Gold

  The 220-seat theatre’s small size means that too few people will see this production, but it also means the actors can afford to be subtle. Because they know everything they do can be seen and heard, their performances often sound more like talking than orating. Nearly everyone wrings out as much authenticity as possible from their lines. At times the actors are so at ease in their roles that it seems like they are departing from the original . This is an illusion. The play has been trimmedslightly, but the text is unchanged (except that a rousing rendition of “Hotline Bling” replaces the original drinking song). The production runs for more than three hours, but itracesby like a train hurtling towards its inevitable crash.


  • Trimmed [trimd]:修整过的

  • Race [re?s]:疾行

  The ensemble includes a few standouts. In yoga leggings and a cardigan, Rachel Brosnahan is a sweet and perceptive Desdemona; Finn Wittrock is a fine, strong-jawed Cassio; and Matthew Maher nearly steals all of his scenes as the otherwise marginal dupe, Roderigo. But the show of course belongs to the two stars: David Oyelowo as Othello and Daniel Craig as Iago (pictured). It is a marvel to see the raw talent of these masters up close, without the smoke and mirrors of the cinema.


  Mr Craig is a magnetic Iago, a thuggish weasel in a T-shirt and shorts who delivers his lines as comfortably as he breathes. Perhaps tosubduethe glimmer of his celebrity (and evade the annoying habit of entrance applause), his first scenes take place in total darkness. This is an intriguing choice, which helps introduce the patter of Shakespeare’s poetry to the ear without the distraction of Mr Craig’s impossibly blue eyes. As for Mr Oyelowo, his transformation from a regal, self-assured soldier into a bloodthirsty creature undone by jealousy must be seen to be believed.


  • Subdue [s?b'dju?]:征服

  Mr Oyelowo says he had long avoided playing Othello, deeming it a bit “too obvious” a role. But he was won over by Mr Gold’s plans to stage the play “in a world of now”. He adds that after a ten-year hiatus, it also felt like it was time to return to the stage. “Nothing gets you closer to the truth of storytelling than live theatre,” he says. “There’s nowhere to hide. If you’re not telling the audience the truth, you feel it. But when it works, it’s magical.”


  翻译 ▍栏目四第一组

  审核 ▍Mo

  编辑 ▍澜意

  Try to translate

  Tackling the bard is “scary stuff”, he admits, but he has tried to treat “Othello” as if it were “a new play, without the burden of Shakespeare’s importance and the rules that come along with it”.

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