“These plays will survive anything we do with them. That slightly takes the pressure off, because nobody should ever set out to make a definitive production of them.”
Which is true. They survived Thomas and Henrietta Bowdler. Still, I'm not sure if keeping the audience's attention or not challenging their comfort level is the best guide to making cuts in Shakespeare.
I would have liked to have seen Deborah Warner's recent production of THE TEMPEST which seems like it dared the audience to face what Warner saw as unpleasantness in the text.