Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Arts&Culture Texas Feature on Fixing King John by Kirk Lynn, Rude Mechs, November 7 - 24, 2013

Excerpts from a feature published November 5, 2013:


Rude Mechs Launch Fixin’ Shakespeare with King John

by Lauren Smart November 5, 2013

Rude Mechanicals Fixing King John Austin TX
Robert S. Fisher, Lowell Batholomee, Tom Green, Jay Byrd, E. Jason Liebrecht, Florinda Bryant, Jeffrey Mills (image: Bret Brookshire)

Leave it to Austin’s maverick troupe, the Rude Mechs, to tackle Shakespeare’s “problem plays.” Even the Bard’s esteemed canon contains a few duds, and in the new bi-annual series, Fixin’ Shakespeare, the Rude Mechs attempt to slice and dice these plays into more contemporary, and perhaps more palatable, shows. The series debuts with Fixin’ King John, Nov. 7-24, adapted by Kirk Lynn and directed by Madge Darlington.

“There are some Shakespeare plays that are really difficult to produce well, and this is one of them,” Darlington says. “For one thing, King John is too long and many of the plot points are convoluted.” [. . . .]

King John carries the company’s stamp in its collage-like synthesis of music, movement and text, but it deviates in one notable way. A month before rehearsals began, Darlington had a script in hand. “Kirk’s version has all the wonderful things of the original script, but through the lens of contemporary vernacular,” Darlington says. “He’s also added wonderful moments of connection with the audience that give this play more relevance.” [. . . .]

By bringing a new perspective to his work, the Rude Mechs hope to crack these plays open in a new way. “It’s similar to the relationship a cover band has with the original performer,” Darlington says. “Fixing it was a fun way to think about it, and of course there’s a little bit of hubris to that.”

Read full article by Lauren Smart at Arts&CultureTexas. . . .

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