Is it the British accent? Whenever I see a production of Shakespeare, I assume I’m going to miss a great deal of it because of the difficulty of the language.
Several years ago I saw an hilarious production of Ben Jonson’s “The Alchemist” at the National Theatre. The actors completely raced through the script (which is amazingly dense and difficult) but it really worked!
I think that's part of it. I generally don't have too many problems with Elizabethan English, but the accents certainly get in the way. Of course in Shakespeare's time the accents were probably closer to American than they are now. Still, I think it's the way they just race through the dialogue. One production that was better than the rest was BBC's "Age of Kings" series--in which I can almost make shift without the subtitles.