This was fascinating.
Obviously, this is, as the title suggests, about how Greg Doran and Tony Sher put on a production of Titus Andronicus in the new South Africa in 1994, but it is about so much more, too.
The authors jump from topic to topic but instead of feeling disjointed, the jumping around makes total sense, and some of the asides really make me laugh.
It’s not the jokes that keep me reading, tho. It’s the insights to how they approach interpreting play(s), how they find relevance in the context of current affairs, how they teach, direct, and interact with the other cast members.
It was pretty fab. And I haven’t even touched on the way that they give a picture of South Africa past and present (in 1994) that seems very realistic.
Woza Shakespeare! won’t make me love Titus Andronicus, or even like the play, not even a little bit, but I love reading about how Greg, Tony, and the rest of the cast are approaching the play and interpreting the characters. I don’t have to agree with everything – I don’t have to agree with anything in their approach but even thinking about their different view is eye-opening.
It is such a great example of how when plays – or poetry, or any work of literature, art, music – are taught in a classroom setting, it should encourage people to seek out different performances, adaptations, etc.
5* (out of 5*)