The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1975): Young Vic Theatre
PrThe Two Gentlemen of Verona (1975)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Derek Fowlds (Speed); Judy Geeson (Julia); Joanna McCallum (Silvia); Pip Miller (Proteus); Michael Walker (Valentine).
This production was performed in February 1975.
"Jeremy James Taylor, making his directorial debut at the Young Vic, sits the whole thing up on its hind legs, and makes it fairly beg for our applause. But without any tricks; played straight out front for all Shakespeare's piquante observations on love and all its vagaries. An impressive effort indeed. The setting is as romantically Italianate as can be. Sun spills all over Julia's perverse pertness..." ~ Jack Tinker, Daily Mail, 20 February 1975
"In a valiant attempt to soften the severe outlines of the Young Vic stage, Cecelia Doidge has festooned its stairways and catwalks with Watteauesque garlands and trees in tubs, so that it now suggest a battleship on the day of a royal visit. We get an interrupted music lesson with Judy Wilson's Lucetta; and Judy Geeson's Julia has a brave go on the floral swing, her silver-bell laugh not unmixed with panic, as she would be in for a long drop if the rope broke. But all of this lies outside the play itself; and its only contribution is to establish Sir Eglamour as the household flautist, and so, presumably, a safe person to transport Silvia away from the dreaded clutches of Thurio. Not that that helps the actor much: once he has put his flute away Darien Angadi falls back on suppressed giggles to stimulate Eglamour's gallery." ~ Irving Wardle, The Times, 20 February 1975
"In my notice of the Young Vic's The Two Gentlemen of Verona I wrongly identified the flautist as Darien Angadi instead of Douglas Mackie. My apologies to both artistes." ~ Irving Wardle, The Times, 27 February 1975
"Here let me thank Jeremy James Taylor. This Young Vic director, clearly loving the piece and in no mood to condescend to it, lets it be played entirely straight, he does jib at the last pardoning of those Gilbertian outlaws, but otherwise the comedy runs on like the gentle stream upon the enamelled stones. The costumes are after Watteau, a reasonable choice. I have seen The Two Gentlemen in a variety of periods, but this is so far the one best-suited to it; it is never out of court with either the artifice or the sudden bursts of lyricism as in that enchanted speech about Orpheus and the huge leviathans that forsake unsound deeps to dance on sands." ~ J. C. Trewin, Birmingham Post, 21 February 1975
"The 25-year-old director, Jeremy James Taylor, respects the text and goes all out for the story rather than the poetry - probably a good rule for this house....Less happily, everyone is dressed a la Fragonard, with masked dandies in attendance and even a swing for Julia in satins and ribbons. And the play is set in a formal, fete-champetre garden, all steps and Frenchified box-trees. This never changes, so that new-comers to the play had to guess whether they were in Verona, Milan or another part of the forest." ~ John Barber, "All out for story in Two Gentlemen", Daily Telegraph, 20 February 1975