Customers who bought this item also bought
Long before telephones, computers, and cameras all at once fit in the palm of your hand, seekers of truth and slaves to curiosity have always existed. Long before textbooks, the grapevine and nightly news evolved into Twittered tweets, blogs, and Google searches, the 'word' still got around. From the scandals of the famous and intrigues of the powerful, to the cherished superstitions that to this day still delight and perplex - all were noted and set down. "How these curiosities would be quite forgott, did not such idle fellowes as I am putt them down." ...John Aubrey 1626 -1697
Much has indeed been forgotten. Aubrey himself was sure that his own life's work would simply gather dust or be lost altogether. He was very nearly right, until a brilliant young playwright named Patrick Garland and one of the finest award-winning actors of this or any century, Roy Dotrice, returned the writings, and with them John Aubrey himself, back to living memory. And well a generation of theater-goers still fondly remembers the experience as this one-man play toured the world for a record-breaking 1,782 performances. Many revivals since (most notably a triumphant recreation by Roy Dotrice, O.B.E. in 2008), this original "Brief Lives" also seemed destined for yet another gentle oblivion. There had been just a single live performance recorded in 1979 and its master was lost in 2001. Only a single VHS-taped copy remained barely surviving into the millennium. There it waited for technology to lend an improving hand.
Now, John Aubrey does live again. This lovingly, if imperfectly restored video preserves - at least as well as quill and parchment ever could - an experience akin to time-travel. It records a day's visit with a very old friend - from rude awakening to final slumber. As one New York Times reviewer observed, the many "years are the bat of an eye lid and the past surrounds us like a still-fugitive mist..." For more on "Brief Lives" visit: CINEMIND.COM/AUBREY
When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
When I saw the original play, Roy Dotrice remained on stage for the entire intermission between the two acts (he "falls asleep" - snuffling and wheezing the whole time) and, since the curtains remained open members of the audience were free to walk up to the stage and look at all the bric-a-brac strewn all over it. There were recipes for poultices and cures and all manner of period junk, only some of which is visible during the course of this recording.
During the performance I saw back then, he interacted occasionally with the audience, commenting about the plague when he heard someone cough, and picking on me about my long hair as I was sitting in the front row (he mentions long hair at one point on the DVD).
It was a spectacular solo performance and one of the few plays I remember in any detail even though it has been three decades since I saw it on stage. It's interesting to hear gossip about people of the time, both great and small, written by a contemporary and the bonus is the play is both funny and very well acted. Very impressive - you should watch it.
Also, Dotrice’s makeup is so repulsive that I began ironing and just listened to the DVD instead of watching it. Since Aubrey was a gentleman, why did the producers portray him and his apartment as so squalid? The jokes are so weak, an annoying laugh track highlights them.
I usually donate unwonted items to the Friends of the Library, but because I don’t want anyone else to endure this visually revolting film, I’m throwing it out
To suddenly find a dvd, albeit from an original VHS, from Amazon.com was truly wonderful. Thoroughly enjoyed the "experience" again and chuckled along with John Aubrey. First class delivery service so top marks all round.