Plagues are ravaging Thebes, and the blind fortune-teller Tieresias tells Oedipus, the King, that the gods are unhappy. The murder of the former king has gone unavenged, and Oedipus sets ...
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Plagues are ravaging Thebes, and the blind fortune-teller Tieresias tells Oedipus, the King, that the gods are unhappy. The murder of the former king has gone unavenged, and Oedipus sets out to find the killer.Written by
I've shown this first of the Theban trilogy, to a college class taking a basic literature course, for over 15 years now. No one, of course, recognizes Claire Bloom, Edward Hardwicke (who also did a turn as Dr. Watson opposite Jeremy Brett's Holmes), or even Sir John Gielgud, which is a shame, but it does tend to keep students from being distracted by more contemporary 'name' actors. (I do tell my students that they might recognize Michael Pennington in a brief appearance on the Death Star in one of the "Star Wars" films.) Yes, the more contemporary costuming can be odd, even irritating, but part of my job as teacher is to indicate why such production changes can add to a play's impact. I like Don Taylor's translation/adaptation here better than any other version I've seen, or read; it tends to make the overall story clearer to the average college-age viewer. Gielgud's turn as the blind Tiresias is spot-on, and even though Pennington, and John Shrapnel as the brother-in-law, sometimes shout a little too often at each other, the video holds up well, even after repeated viewings. I could only wish for a DVD version, at a reasonable price.
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