If you believe in the inherent value of great plays—and I do—there's something to be said for dull straightforward productions. The staging doesn't pretend to be anything but a conventional reading of the play, leaving you space to contemplate the meaning of the play for yourself. There is always the possibility that great acting, even following a conventional trail, will illuminate the drama beyond any understanding you could achieve with your own thoughts, but "the best in this kind are but shadows," as a prominent actor-playwright once remarked, and one mustn't expect too much. In the meantime, you're left alone, as it were, with the play in front of you, giving you a chance to contemplate it with relatively little interference. Even bad or inadequate acting, in this context, is sometimes helpful: a sharp reminder of what the play is not, underscoring its... More >>>