Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Friday, 1 May 2015

Jacobi as "Mercutio"

A truly fascinating bit of casting:
Derek Jacobi is to play Mercutio in a new West End production of Romeo and Juliet.... in the Kenneth Branagh production at the Garrick theatre in London next summer.
Jacobi, who has a long working partnership with Branagh, said that the casting was an “intriguing challenge”. The 76-year-old told the Daily Mail that while he didn’t expect to be playing Mercutio at this stage of his career, he believes that Shakespeare’s text does hint at the character being a father figure to Romeo and his friends. He also observed that Mercutio’s age is never mentioned.This also offers support for another project of mine.
I have told Himself that he needs to audition more just to keep his chops up, and he begged a paucity of appropriate roles, pointing to some search for an "early 20s Latino woman," another for "30-ish man, waspy."

I said all of those descriptors were merely societal constructs, he should just tell the auditors that he "identifies" as a 22 year old Castilian woman, in the case of the first one. He should also self-identify as weighing about 116.

Only a churl and a bigot and a violator of all principles of equality would dare question his so considering himself. (Deliberate lower case.)

I myself have decided to identify as someone who still has her high E.

(None of this is be be construed as snark directed at Jacobi who is great, great, great great, great. And who, regardless of casting conventions should be a prefect Mercutio. After all, Barrymore was brilliant and he had a paunch!)
I have only seen Sir Derek in person four times, only twice in Shakespeare, but each was indelible. (I also talked to him on the phone once, I was fan-girling and found out what hotel he was staying at in New York and just called him up. I was a very immature 20 year old. Only a baby-sitting job kept me from just going to the hotel and hanging out in the lobby.)

No comments: