Houlahan, M. & Schafer, E. (2009). Unsettling will? Contemporary Theatre Review, 19(3), 265-268.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3309
An important paradox resides in the fact that, for those represented in this special issue, there is no desire to ignore and forget Shakespeare’s works. Rather, the various material and theatrical practices discussed here seek to unsettle prior modes of presenting Shakespeare and, at the same time, to unsettle in various ways the local cultures these Shakespeare productions address. Frequently such approaches meet with resistance, as audiences and readers fail to recognise a Shakespeare with which they are comfortably familiar. Theatre practitioners, on the other hand, take at times a braver and certainly more optimistic approach. They gamble that audiences will feel sufficiently comfortable with Shakespeare to allow themselves and their idea of Shakespeare to be moved around. Again Cozzi’s specific and personal analysis of The Tempest is exemplary. In his eyes, the education lessons imparted by Prospero to Caliban, Ariel, Miranda and Ferdinand are severe, as are the lessons Prospero himself must learn. A production grounded in those issues would, however, at points, be uncomfortable for audiences to watch.