No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

#101: The Libertine -- Stephen Jeffreys

Play script, reread in anticipation of the film, which sticks fairly closely to mood and content of the original in dealing with the decline of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, and his death of syphilis (or boredom). I saw the stage play at the Battersea Arts Centre back in 1998 (I think), and was very impressed: but I'd forgotten what a grim picture Jeffreys paints. Rochester is out to shock, desperately trying to enjoy life as he once did, but he's jaded and weary -- and, worse, those around him are accustomed to his, ah, eccentricities. Some stunning dialogue and excellent interweaving of Rochester's poems. Also contains the original musical setting of 'Signior Dildoe', which led me to the piano, which turns out to be out of tune.

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

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