For a start, Our Lady (Mary) appeared petulant in the opening scenes; she had a petulant, or, at least, puckish face; fine for many roles but not this one
Now, I say that as one who likes tradition. That means that actors playing classical parts are, in my view, at their best when looking the part and speaking classical English. Once they start on the regional accents you begin to drift into the realm of fantasy. Was St Joseph speaking with an Irish accent? I started to wait for the word "Youse" to come at the end of a sentence. One of the three kings looked rather Rasta in appearance and his accent was pure Brixton. Again, I was waiting for the "innit" or "Blood" words to enter the proceedings.
That is a distraction. What is wrong with the Queen's English, or, for that matter, Oxford English? It is, after all, a classical story that is being told. One could argue that the producer should have gone the 'authentic' way and had all the cast spouting off in Mile End Road Yiddisher accents, and, to tell the truth, Herod's right hand man did, so I believe, sell me some dodgy DVDs in Spitalfields market last Sunday....but no....
The trouble is that once you go down the route of popularising the story, any story, you run the risk of losing the essence of the plot.
|Rasta, Wycliffe and Balthasar!|
I am, of course, out of my time; but, before you condemn me totally, which of these line styles do you prefer?
Elizabeth: "My baby gave such a kick when I saw you......"
Elizabeth: "The babe leaped in my womb when I saw you...."
The choice is just so straightforward..............innit?