callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

Culture in Quarantine: The RSC on iPlayer

Several people have told me how good these RSC recordings are and yesterday evening I decided to watch The Tempest. It took me fifteen minutes to find it; five of those just to get the iPlayer up on screen using the Fire Stick (this always happens). A hint for anyone who hasn’t used Culture in Quarantine before: don’t waste your time searching for ‘RSC’ or ‘The Tempest’; this will bring you up a lot of Dr Who episodes. Instead, go to Categories – Arts and there you’ll find everything you want: art, music, ballet, theatre. Luckily the performance was worth all the effort.

It was recorded at The Globe, which was interesting in itself for me as I’ve never been there. Forget the plot. Naples/Milan/Milan/Naples, it’s all totally incomprehensible. It’s like listening to music; you wait for the good bits and most of those involved Roger Allam as Prospero. I’ve admired Allam ever since I became aware of him and this was a wonderful performance. He totally owned the stage, as people would say nowadays and spoke all the lines perfectly with superb diction (important for a deaf person like me, who hates mumbling). It was annoying that while the cheering and clapping were still going on, the iPlayer started trying to show me an episode of The Antiques Road Show. That’s just a quibble. I’m always moaning about the BBC but this Culture in Quarantine is real public service broadcasting and I’ll be watching more.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

This is one of my favourite Shakespeare speeches.
Tags: shakespeare, television, theatre

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