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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: February ::
Sex Acts and Performance Criticism
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 72.  Wednesday, 10 February 1993.
 
From:           Cliff Ronan <CR06%
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Date:           Tuesday, 09 Feb 1993 21:23:25 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Sex Acts and Performance Criticism
CC:             Ed Pechter and Naomi Liebler
 
When the serious and fascinating debate on Performance Criticism dies
down, perhaps you, Ed, might check reviews of Barry Kyle's *Measure
for Measure*, which opened on June 21, 1978, at the RSC in Stratford.
My memories of it (which I saw at the very start of the run) are a
little dim, and I am not positive that I got my seat before the play
began.  At any rate, the audience gasped at the first sight of the
Overdone establishment (which might have been the first set seen
onstage):  there was one or more bare backed males, prone and grinding
on cots behind a low balcony.  I thought it worked all right.
 
Naomi, would the dates and staging suggest that Kyle inspired the
onstage fornication at Quickly's in the Joanne Akalaitis production of
*1H4*?
 
Another, and I think less successful, feature of the Kyle production
was having the escaped prisoner Barnardine (played by Conrad Asquith)
streak onto the stage in his birthday suit.  He stood effectivelly
awkwardly midstage, frontally naked while he manically explained
something or other -- presumably why at that moment he was unprepared
to meet his Maker.  Did anyone else in SHAKSPER see this?  Was it a
veiled allusion to the prison of the flesh?  Or a structure-enhancing
bilingual attack on the disorder at the jail, where everything
seemed/seems *commed un bordel*?
 
Cliff Ronan
Southwest Texas SU
 

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