Thursday, 31 May 2012

Just watched: Yoshitaka Yuriko challenges Macbeth

Actually, the proper name for this program was "Yoshitaka Yuriko: 6 Days in London; I Challenged Macbeth" but if I put all that in the title, the whole thing would include two colons and a semi-colon, and that's a lot of punctuation just for the title of a blog post.

Anyway, recently I've been doing quite a tiring job, so I can't watch anything new because I don't know if I'm going to fall asleep halfway through. As such, I've been going back and watching old things I've seen before. In this forty minute documentary, Yoshitaka Yuriko has the impossible task of playing Lady Macbeth in English. In London. In six days.

It's not a proper production – the final play looks like it's staged in a room over a pub – but you can tell it's still stressful as she struggles to deal with a play that's in a foreign language. In one very awkward scene she breaks down and cries during rehearsals because she can't get it right. In fact, she seems to be getting worse.

In the end she makes it through, and the play is fine. People say nice things about her, but there's no denying that –from what is shown of the play – she's not a great Lady Macbeth. For a start, she's too young, and lacks the presence to make it work.

On the other hand, she was very brave to even try it. After all, she's a famous, successful actress who doesn't need to take risks. And this is illustrated in a scene where she goes to the pub with the cast after rehearsals. They ask her how many films she's been in, and she holds up a hand with one finger, and another hand with four fingers. "Five?" they say, very impressed that she's been in so many films. Then she has to correct them: "No. Fourteen."

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