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Home :: Archive :: 1990 :: November ::
Spinoffs, Hamletmachine
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 1, No. 103. Saturday, 17 Nov 1990.
 
 
(1)   Date:         Fri, 16 Nov 90 15:58:04 EST              (52 lines)
      From:         Ken Steele <
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 >
      Subject:      Hamletmachine, Woman's Prize, Spinoffs
 
(2)   Date:   Fri, 16 Nov 90 18:59:06 EST                    (13 lines)
      From:   
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      Subject: Spinoffs...
 
(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date:         Fri, 16 Nov 90 15:58:04 EST
From:         Ken Steele <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Subject:      Hamletmachine, Woman's Prize, Spinoffs
 
 
The play in Lawrence Schimel's illegible notes must be
John Fletcher's (1579-1625) *The Woman's Prize; or, The Tamer
Tamed*, which has been published in a critical edition by George
B. Ferguson (The Hague: Mouton, 1966).
 
Lawrence Schimel also mentions a student production of
*Hamletmachine* at Yale.  This was probably a version of Heiner
Mu"ller's (that's an umlaut) *Die Hamletmaschine*, which was
performed here in Toronto by the Quebec company Carbone 14 in
June 1988.  Fortunately, I did see it and I do save *everything*,
so I can supply additional information both from the programme,
and from the University of Toronto's on-line FELIX library
catalogue.
 
Heiner Mu"ller (1929 - ) is proclaimed "postwar Germany's most
important playwright."  The text is reprinted in *Hamletmachine
and Other Texts for the Stage*, (New York: Performing Arts
Journal Publications, 1984).  Incidentally, another title by Mu"ller
which sounds relevant to the "Spinoffs" discussion is *Shakespeare
Factory* (Berlin: Rotbuch Verlag, 1985).  Both seem to be readily
available.
 
The Quebec production, directed by Gilles Maheu (star of the
Canadian film *Un Zoo La Nuit*), claimed to "deconstruct
[Mu"ller's] own deconstruction of Europe, history, and
Shakespeare's *Hamlet* to produce a mind-boggling succession of
striking images [...] using video, rock music, four Hamlets, four
Ophelias as well as fragments of English, French, and German" (not
to mention puppets, live rats, etc.):
 
    Like the hemispheres of the brain, the stage of *Hamlet-
    Machine* is split in two: a symbol of East-German author
    Heiner Mu"ller's divided homeland.  [The brochure is
    already a little dated!  This description seems more
    appropriate to contemporary Canada than Germany.]
    Carbone 14's wall, however, contains live rats, an
    Orwellian suggestion of the ruins of Europe.  Mu"ller has
    taken Shakespeare's play and scattered its parts in all
    directions, making Hamlet's burden the nightmare of
    history.  Mu"ller's Hamlet begins: "I was Hamlet.  I stood
    at the shore and talked with the surf BLABLA."
 
This gives some idea of the play as I saw it, although what they
did with it at Yale I don't know.
 
                                      Ken Steele
                                      University of Toronto
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date:   Fri, 16 Nov 90 18:59:06 EST
From:   
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Subject: Spinoffs...
 
        Despite the reputation of comics being immature, there was an
excellent presentation of Shakespeare in a recent issue of "The Sandman"
By Jamie Delano.  I believe it was issue #23 or so, titled _A Midsummer
Night's Dream_.  It was a very interesting portrayal of Shakespeare as
actor, director, and father (yes, Hamnet was involved).  I recommend it
highly to anyone who doesn't mind being caught reading a (gasp) comic
book.
                John Goodrich
 

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