SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT
- closed yesterday at Nashville Children's Theatre.
GAWAIN was excellently acted and surprisingly faithful to the poem. I liked
the expressionistic stage, with a sheet backdrop of the sky and a huge sun
which could be chilly white, or terrifying green, or a cheerful red depending
on lighting. But I never could see what was the use of the four long ropes at
the corners of the stage platform - except to get in the way of the actors.
One poor woman had to be Gringolet the horse and Guenevere the queen and a
couple other things, w/o ever changing her hairstyle! (Little funny curls
like a horse's dressed mane)
The beheading was managed much as I expected, with a huge papier-mache head
and a hooded cloak with raised shoulders - as soon as the head fell, the hood
covered the "neck" from then until the Green Knight left the scene. However
somebody slipped somehow, and the actress in front of the bowed Green Knight
caught the head in her hands, or pulled it off, before Gawain's axe (and it
was an awesome, glittering steel, axe on a six or eight foot shaft, very
effective) had even reached the height of its swing. Oops.
After that, when the head was returned to the Green Knight, he held it by
the hair at arm's length, turning it suddenly towards the people he was
supposedly looking at or talking to - skeery and effective.
One thing I didn't like; probably because the story happens in the North of
England, everyone was told to affect some sort of weird accent, which sounded
more Irish to me than North of England. People called, for instance, upon
"The Lard." I thought straight English, with a slight touch of "Oxford,"
would have been better.
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