Incredible though it may seem, a new film of Shakespeare’s Macbeth has been banned in Thailand. A Thai production, financed by the Thai government cinema agency, it has been banned by the same government that commissioned it. Such is the relationship between the Thai monarchy and its subjects that regicide, even in drama, has been deemed too dangerous for the national good. Even when abroad, Thai law bans journalists of any nation from discussing the monarchy, if they want to return to Thailand without the threat of prosecution. Not a healthy situation if a state feels threatened by the ideas of a centuries dead playwright. Yet, it proves the power of art.
Perhaps the management and staff at the Warsaw Opera Kameralna could learn from the art they profess to represent. King Lear has not been set to music very often. Perhaps now is the time for some of those underworked musicians and “othercrats” to give it a look. But don’t stop there. The abuse of power and its consequences also features in so many of Shakespeare’s Histories. They would be well worth looking at too.
So, here is something really worthwhile to do for the holiday. A WOKing good read! Happy Easter!