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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: May ::
Re: Doubling
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0398.  Thursday, 5  May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Nick Clary <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 04 May 1994 14:46:32 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Doubling in HAMLET
 
(2)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Wednesday, 04 May 1994 17:08:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Tripling a character
 
(3)     From:   J F Knight <
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        Date:   Thursday, 5 May 1994 12:40:11 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0391 Re: Doubling
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Clary <
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Date:           Wednesday, 04 May 1994 14:46:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Doubling in HAMLET
 
Now that HAMLET has been pulled into the doubling question, let me mention the
Kabuki version done by the Tokyo Globe Company in 1991.  In this production,
the same actor plays Hamlet, Ophelia, and Fortinbras; a second actor plays
both Claudius and the Ghost of Hamlet's father.  The cast included 15
performers and 12 musicians.  I might note that the repertoire included
versions of KING LEAR and FALSTAFF, for which there were no doublings at all.
As I noted in an earlier posting, Kabuki began in 1603, according to the
program, "when a foxy little nun by the name of Okuni left her life of nunnery
at Izumo Grand Shrine behind and went to the big city of Kyoto with a group of
like-minded fellow nuns to become stars of the riverbed....These ladies were
so far out that nobody could describe them with a proper word, so the slang
verb 'kabuku' came to be used in its noun form 'kabuki' to describe them.  The
word meant 'leaning far over to one's side' or, as we would say today,
'avant-garde.'"  HAMLET, of course, was not in the first kabuki repertoire.
 
Nick Clary
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Wednesday, 04 May 1994 17:08:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Tripling a character
 
Some years ago, Word Baker (I think that is his name) directed a production of
Marlowe's EDWARD II at the University of Cincinnati. He had three different
actors playing Edward, and all three were on stage at the same time: a
hetersexual, a homosexual, a female -- the three aspects of Edward (said Mr.
Baker). Each actor had a section of the stage as his/hers, and Baker himself
"directed" who would speak the lines. It varied for each performance. The
homosexual aspect/actor was "killed" in the obscene parody of homosexual love
(to paraphrase Empson). Or so it was the night I saw it, and I assumed that
Baker always directed him to "die."  I could be wrong.
 
The audience was also on stage, and each auditor had to sit with someone he/she
didn't know. The auditors were also encouraged to become actors at certain
times during the play, esp. battle scenes.
 
This is a twenty year old memory, but I recall that I was not disturbed by the
character of Edward being "tripled." Needless to say, however, this was a
strange night at the theatre.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J F Knight <
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Date:           Thursday, 5 May 1994 12:40:11 +1000 (EST)
Subject: 5.0391 Re: Doubling
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0391 Re: Doubling
 
Best doubling I ever saw was Judy Davis as both Cordelia and the Fool
with John Bell (I think it was) as Lear.  Pomo or no, having his daughter
come back to tweak him with his humanity added an extraordinary
gender / patriarchy yarchy dimension to the interaction - and
then, of course, as Lear achieved wisdom, the Fool died.  Very nice.
 

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