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Chronicles & Tales
Ellis J. Wells





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Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh - Part III

Prof. Ladan Niayesh
Literary Advisor

What would you say is the overreaching difference between this adaptation and Shakespeare's original play? And how would you evaluate this evolution of script?

The first obvious difference is the change of medium. Shakespeare & Co wrote their play texts – or “scripts”, as you have spontaneously called them – at a time when cinema was not an option. Even if the circular form of an early modern stage offers more changes of perspectives than a frontal opera stage, we come nowhere near the multifocal options of a modern camera, its movements, the cuts, the angles, etc. The cinematic medium by essence invites successive takes and multiplicity of perspective, so the revised text might as well follow and adjust to that, with multiple hands and voices contributing tonal changes: some more philosophical and others more poetic, some ancient Greek, others early modern and others original and atemporal. Yet the ensemble keeps its thematic unity, orchestrated and led by the conductor that Maximianno is by training and background. Overall, I think this version works more in a dialogic, or even symphonic, way across periods and genres, which is a great way of revisiting multiple legacies, not just transposing them in awe and reverence, but writing back to them and continuing the conversations they started.

Do you think using texts and sonnets from Shakespeare's vast body of work is an effective way of adapting and evolving his plays into something even more modern and empowering?

Read more: Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh - Part III