Antony and Cleopatra
Miss Smith is, as you’d know she would be,… wryly, waspishly winning in the early passages of Antony and Cleopatra. Her ill-feigned delight over the death of Antony’s first wife, her alternate rage and joy at a messenger s description of his newly acquired second, are models of serio-comic playing, heart and head locked in shrewish battle. She also carefully prepares the groundwork, early, for her essential distrust of Antony s strength, looking ahead to the play’s final forlorn stages. Those last stages, however, (and the machinations that come between) are utterly without emotional power, in part because Keith Baxter has been unable to give Antony any psychological chart we can follow: no ups, no downs, no growth, no decay. Mr. Baxter is stolid, uninflected, unnecessarily roaring throughout, with the result that no true bond is built between the principals. Once Miss Smith has left her mercurial girlishness behind, we have only plodding history to content ourselves with. Small content, though Mr. Scarfe is once again fine as Octavius Caesar. (Walter Kerr, New York Times, 4 July 1976)
KeywordsEarly Passage Military Activity Constant Symbol Infinite Variety Powerful Sense
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