“Men’s evils manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.” And we shall now ascribe the virtues of The Rude Mechanicals production of Henry VIII in ink. Well, digital ink. Directed and Choreographed by Liana Olear, this ‘lost history’ (the most boring of the boring and banal of banal Shakespearean histories) is revitalized and given a new lease on life. Olear’s strategic placement of the historical recounting of the eighth Henry in the mid 1910’s lends itself to her dancer’s passion,
Girl wants boy. Boy wants different girl. Girl tricks boy into wanting her. And they live happily ever after. Other stuff happens. There’s a fool involved somehow. And a king. And a fistula. That the girl magically cures the king of with her magical powers, or her herbs and whatnot. And then they live happily ever after. Also some love letters and a ring. Maybe some secretive identities, a ten-o’clock kidnapping, and a horse?
Ne’er so bethump’d with words has this critic found herself when staring down an amalgamation of a Shakespearean remount dipped in Pythonian humor and sprayed liberally with truncation across the Greenbelt Arts Center’s intimate black box stage, than she has in this very moment in attempting to report upon The Life and Death of King John as presented by The Rude Mechanicals. A history most boring upended ass over tea-kettle by Director Alan Duda,
Friends! Romans! Washingtonians! The time has come to take a stand against the inconstant shifting nature of theatre in Washington DC! Hail The Rude Mechanicals and their rebellious production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Directed by company founder Jaki Demarest, this scandalous production takes the great Roman Empire to 1920’s soviet occupied Russia. Stalin, proletariat, rebellion; all encompassed in Demarest’s revolutionary vision of one of the Bard’s milder tragedies.
With honor in one eye and death in the other,
Light and darkness make fools both of the eyes. But it is oft better to live in the bliss of darkness than in the harsh intelligence of the light for once a thing is known and learned it can never be unknown. The Rude Mechanicals illustrate this concept with exception as their bring their 2014 Capital Fringe Festival production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth: The Instruments of Darkness to the Greenbelt Arts Center for a limited five show engagement.