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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 815.  Thursday, 18 Nov. 1993.
From:           Zanne Westfall Pardee <WS#1@LAFAYACS.bitnet>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Nov 93 09:43:20 EDT
Subject: 4.0805 Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0805 Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
After acting in and directing many bloody revenge tragedies, I can say
that the horrific stuff is the biggest challenge to the troupe.  I can
still hear the audience laughing at the traffic-jam of corpses at the
end of *Duchess of Malfi*, for example, in what was otherwise a highly
commended production.  There's no escape.  If you do it
naturalistically, you do make people retch.  If you go for stylization
or even "realism," the overload invokes laughter.  Personally, I find
the former choice the best.  I still recall the sound of blood dripping
onstage at a 70's *Tamberlain* when Bajazeth and Zabina bashed their
brains out, since their headdresses were filled with animal entrails and
blood.  And I still remember the sickening sound of Macbeth's head (a
cabbage wrapped in an exceedingl bloody, dripping cloth) thunked to the
stage floor.  So if you can manage, and your costumer and set people
don't rebel, go for the naturalistic.  Unless, of course, you're doing a
Noh Titus.  Stylize one moment, and you must stylize all, I think.
Zanne Westfall ws#1@lafaycs.bitnet

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