chapter  4
46 Pages

Claustrophobic Tragedy and ‘Close-up’ Comedy

Following her successful opening season, Buzz Goodbody had initially planned to direct Antony and Cleopatra for the venue’s second season in 1975. She was drawn to the play and fascinated by what she described as its ‘intimate details and intense realism.’1 She also had a keen interest in its female protagonist whom she described as:

a remarkable combination of diversity and unity – proud, humble, queen, schoolgirl, Cordelia and Lady Macbeth. These opposites are not presented as negations, but as unity … Play-acting is woven into her love, [she is] Medusa and Madonna. She never wins Antony until death … She is the summation of Shakespeare’s women, as a woman both the divine ideal and the origin of evil.2