Theater: Mocking Bard

The mark of distinction is not automatically stamped on every British theatrical export. The Bristol Old Vic, which made its Broadway debut with two Shakespearean plays last week in the midst of a four-month tour of the U.S. and Canada, is, as its name implies, a provincial repertory troupe. The company tends to substitute energy for excitement; it gives drama the steady, dependable joggle of a railroad trip, instead of scaling peaks or plumbing abysses. The actors read their lines with unfaltering clarity, but they seem less well acquainted with the minds and...

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