David Garrick & the fall of bombastic acting

The View From Sari's World

Garrick as Richard III Garrick as Richard III

When you think of great Shakespearean actors, who comes to mind? I think of Kenneth Branagh, James Earl Jones (is there a better Lear?), Lawrence Olivier, Helen Mirren and Tom Huddleston. Each of these actors, when on stage, becomes the character they play. We are pulled into the drama precisely because of this. Modern audiences are accustomed to players who bring fiction to life; we would be disappointed by actors who just recited lines. There a term for this type of acting, “phoning it in”. “Hamming it up” is a derogatory term we use for those who do the opposite by overacting with exaggerated body language and lines. But, would you be surprised to learn this wasn’t always the case? Prior to 1740, this type of acting was the norm.

Jack Lynch, author of Becoming Shakespeare, offers readers a look into the history of how…

View original post 596 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s