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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: Texts
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0312.  Wednesday, 24 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 19:35:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0306 Re: Texts

(2)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Apr 96 08:21:38 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 22 Apr 1996 to 23 Apr 1996


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Apr 1996 19:35:51 +0100
Subject: 7.0306 Re: Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0306 Re: Texts

Eric Armstrong writes

> Patrick Tucker, who is popularizing a form of
>Shakespeare performance derived from Elizabethan practice, has also brought
>back the Folio texts.

Tucker really is as confused as this description suggests. But first some
background. He believes that the players had no rehearsals and simply learnt
their own cue-script (ie their lines with just a cue line to indicate where to
begin) and turned up for the first performance. This practice he considers to
be authentically Elizabethan and hence he uses the Folio. Yes, the Folio! The
20 year gap between Elizabeth's death and the printing of the Folio doesn't
affect his terminology either.

Nor does the existence of earlier, more theatrical, quartos, bother him one
bit. To justify this intellectual laziness he too argues that the Folio's
punctuation (esp. capitalization) contains coded information to actors. Really
he just can't be bothered to understand the complex provenance of different
early printed texts, so he's picked the Folio and by golly he's sticking to it.
He fetishizes the Folio in the same way that the Shakespearean Originals series
of play-texts fetishizes the early quartos. Indeed, he calls his troupe the
Original Shakespeare Company.

(Scene from Monty Python's Life of Shakespeare:

Graham Chapman: Are you the Original Shakespeare Company?
John Cleese:  F**k off! We're the Shakespearean Originals Company!)

Tucker's company recreate the conditions he believes obtained. Far from being
worth an increased entrance fee (because the first performance is especially
'live and dangerous'!), the predictable choas of colliding bodies, misdirected
speeches and confused panicky glances argues against his thesis.

Gabriel Egan

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Apr 96 08:21:38 EDT
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 22 Apr 1996 to 23 Apr 1996

Dramatongues and Texts:

An advantage of using quarto AND Folio texts is that they frequently offer
theatrically informed alternative readings.  Working with professionals or with
students, the binocular effect of seeing two ways of beginning a scene or three
ways of negotiating the entry of a character quickly demonstrates just how
these theatrical opportunities were invented and reinvented, inscribed and
reinscribed.

Whatever edition is used, imagination and invention must be supplied by the
players.  A bat, ball and gloves along with a beautiful baseball diamond still
need avid players to become a ballgame.  Lazy or intimidated players won't take
even the finest equipment out to the adventuresome thrill of grace and flowing
challenges that turn pastime into art.

(Good grief!  Springtime has enflowered my workyday prose.  Mud!  Gimme mud! an
ounce of mud, good apothecary, to curb imagination.)

                        Again,
                        Steve Enflowerwitz
 

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