Theater: Captain Bligh Swaps Ships

Moby Dick is an Orson Welles adaptation, some of it in blank verse, of Melville's novel. Some men tinker with old cars; Orson Welles tinkers with old masterpieces. His 1937 Julius Caesar, in Fascist uniform, was exciting theater. Moby Dick is a fiasco.

Perhaps no theater is large enough to hold the White Whale, and Welles intelligently lets audience imagination do the work of stage realism. He conceives of a turn-of-the-century acting troupe doing a sort of tryout rehearsal of a new drama, Moby Dick. A tall ladder serves for a mast, benches for longboats, and furled and swaying sails complete...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!