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POETRYETC  October 2008

POETRYETC October 2008

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Subject:

Re: The Globe

From:

Alison Croggon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Fri, 3 Oct 2008 10:44:51 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

Absolutely correct, David. Hamlet's one of the most interesting
"essays" on theatre and performance - in the most general sense of the
word, the playing of social roles and what it means to "act" - there
is. And that very moving moment where Gloucester is taken to the
cliffs of Dover by Edgar is a theatrical tour de force - its power
depends entirely on our knowing it is artifice, that this is occuring
on a stage. Certainly, his contemporary popularity has nothing to do
with piety, but with the continual redisovery of the enduring
fertility of his work for theatre artists (outside the English
language as well as within it - Suzuki's Shakespeare productions were
pretty stunning, as are Kurosawa's films). Actors kill to play those
roles. And no wonder.

Mind you, that doesn't mean he can't be done badly. One of the longest
nights I've spent in a theatre was watching a production of Pericles.
When Pericles, towards the end, announced that he wouldn't explain the
story so far to another character because "''twould be tedious to
relate" the entire audience burst out laughing, disturbing the couple
behind me who had been liplocked throughout the show (for once, I
didn't blame them, they were certainly more interesting than what was
going on on stage). I had the misfortune to see the RSC production of
Lear, starring Gandalf, and was bored to death, while being
simultaneously rather shocked at how conservative and clunky (and,
aside from Sir Ian, how inaudible) it was. But that kind of thing is
only a small part of a world of possibility.

xA

On Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 9:59 AM, David Bircumshaw
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> You know, questions about Shakespeare turn into questions about
> everything. My view is that he was the most brilliant adapter and
> improviser upon given material that we have ever had, he was an actor
> always in his writing, that's the one personal element that's clear
> from the plays (he never mentions Warwickshire once for example) and
> he makes a heavy emphasis on the fact that they are plays, let's
> pretends, as it were, and not to be taken entirely to heart, that
> applies as much to 'The Tempest' as 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' or 'A
> Midsummer Night's Dream'.
> He may or may not have been a likeable person, a lot of the surviving
> evidence suggests not, but that is subject to the the distorts of
> history: I me myself personally (joke!) don't know whether I'm a nice
> person or not, there are a few people with mental defects who think I
> am but there are others who have their doubts.
> I think Roger's attacks are against a role the Shakespeare plays might
> have had in the 1950s, but not now, I feel that his (Shakespeare's (!)
> and Rogers's (!!) ) continued problematic presence is as valuable as
> that of any of us talking monkeys in this deforested jungle we
> inherit.
>
> All the Best
>
> Dave
>
>
> --
> David Bircumshaw
> Website and A Chide's Alphabet http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.bircumshaw/
> The Animal Subsides http://www.arrowheadpress.co.uk/books/animal.html
> Leicester Poetry Society: http://www.poetryleicester.co.uk
>



-- 
Editor, Masthead:  http://www.masthead.net.au
Blog: http://theatrenotes.blogspot.com
Home page: http://www.alisoncroggon.com

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