Paradox

Here is a paradox. (I think that’s the word I’m looking for.)

Classic plays written in a foreign language are constantly updated. It would be unusual for a theatre such as the National, or more pertinently in this case the Young Vic, not to commission a new adaptation of an Ibsen play such as A Doll’s House, for instance.

Young Vic production

Yet at the same time classic plays written in the English language, from Shakespeare to Shaw and beyond, are not.

Does this place English-speaking dramatists at a disadvantage? Does Shaw’s A Doctor’s Dilemma, written not that long after Doll’s House, seem crusty and old-fashioned by comparison?

National Theatre

Or should we be grateful to be watching the real thing, free from possible adulteration by modern adaptors wanting to give an old play a modern ‘spin’?

Any comments?

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