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5 Plays I’m wishing for in 2011

by Josina Reaves on January 3, 2011

I’ve seen a ton of Jacobean and Elizabethan plays in my life, but there are a couple I would love to see again and some I would give almost anything Doctor Faustus woodcutto see once.  Here or abroad, I’m putting in an order for

1) The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster

Webster’s luscious tale of a widow who takes her love life in her own hands and out of the hands of her two creepy brothers is full of terrific verse and nasty twists.  So sexy, so dangerous.  This must look great on stage!

2) Volpone, or the Fox, Ben Jonson

I haven’t seen a Jonson play in years, so I could really start anywhere in his catalogue, but this one seems delightfully complicated.

3) Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

Now this is just a zany, zoo-y piece of madness, and I am sure, in the days of the Queen’s Men, never had a hellmouth been so well employed.  Just imagine what it would look like today.  We need to get Julie Taymor to give up on superheroes and try this!

4) The Jew of Malta, Christopher Marlowe

I saw F. Murray Abraham perform this piece opposite The Merchant of Venice at the Duke on 42nd Street a few years ago, and it was terrifying and terrific.  Abraham is reprising Merchant, so maybe Malta won’t be far behind.

5) Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

I swore off this play after a particularly boring Peter Hall/Rebecca Hall production and a vapid and insane Russian version (with bad, bad supertitles provided by the show’s producer, Sam Mendes).  Now I’m ready to wade back into this silly and exhausting comedy.  Peter Hall and Rebecca Hall are giving it another shot in London soon, so maybe they’ll bring it back to Brooklyn and give us another whirl, too.

6 Comments Leave one →
  1. Speaking of a Jonson revival, what do you say to a back-to-back staging of “The Alchemist” and “The Tempest”? The two seem to be talking to each other, with the first, Jonson’s Alchemist of 1610, reading like an anti-masque to his old rival’s more Romantic offering of 1611.

    • Josina Reaves permalink

      Perfect! If I can’t get them on-stage, I may just have to read them back to back. I haven’t seen The Alchemist is years, and it is still the only Jonson I have ever seen, but it was terrific. So much to chew on. I smell a post…in about a month! Unless, of course, you’d like to write it. Let me know!

  2. Oh, no, I wouldn’t want to miss out on your take, especially since you’ve seen “The Alchemist” AND Taymor’s Tempest. Let’s both do one – in about a month.

    • Josina Reaves permalink

      You’re on! This is going to be great!

      • I’ve finally finished reading both plays, along with Marlowe’s “Faustus” and Lyly’s alchemical “Gallatea”. My first thought was to attempt a review of an imagined production, but had to trash that one, since I’ve seen so few plays, and have only seen “The Tempest” once. But I’ve got another idea up my sleeve, from a way-far-out-on-a-limb Oxfordian P.O.V., which I’ll try to squeeze into 1,000 words, more or less. Maybe this weekend, or next.

        BTW, I am loving having “Jot and Quill” at the top of my blogroll – you’ve always got something new, and most times I just know it’s going to be something that makes me smile or laugh out loud. Either that or I’m green with envy since I’ll never see all these great productions you’re reviewing!

        • Josina Reaves permalink

          I cannot wait for your post! You rocked that assignment! So impressed. Send what you cook up to jotandquill@gmail.com and make sure to include your byline, so you get proper credit.

          And thank you so much for reading regularly! I thrilled I can make you smile. And an extra big thank you for the blog roll inclusion. When I start a blog roll (soon!), you’re going at the top!

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