The Hobbit star said the Bard’s plays can be tedious and hit out at the ‘conspiracy of silence’ that makes it difficult for people to criticise them.
‘Very educated, very smart, very theatre-literate people’ tolerate the ‘boring passages’ without saying anything, he said.
Speaking to The Andrew Marr Show he said he was ‘hellbent’ on bringing in a younger audience to see his new production of Richard III – which has updated the tale of court intrigue into an ‘imaginary dystopia’ – and thinks chopping out sections will help with that.
|(image via TolkienGateway)|
Look, I agree that there are passages in many (most?) of Shakespeare’s plays that are difficult to understand, mostly because of the 400 years that have come and gone since he wrote them. Of course there’s a tradition of editing the plays for performance, and the director has always had the freedom to cut where he feels the need to cut. But to come right out and say “These parts here? They’re boring, you don’t need them” does Shakespeare a great disservice. Is Mr. Freeman going into competition with Shakespeare? Going to create the definitive film versions the way he sees them, so a generation from now our kids are all studying his watered-down version?
What ultimately kills me is the last line of the article, that tells us this is Mr. Freeman’s first professional Shakespeare role. Move over Orson Welles, step aside Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh, you’ve been doing it wrong and Martin Freeman is here to set you straight.