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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: November ::
Re: Hymen and Adam
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0863.  Thursday, 21 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Moray McConnachie <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 11:51:54 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0853  Re: Hymen

(2)     From:   Steve Neville <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 08:47:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0859 Re: Hymen

(3)     From:   Larry Soller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 07:58:00 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0859 Re: Hymen

(4)     From:   Michael Yogev <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 17:29:35 +0200 (WET)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0859 Re: Hymen

(5)     From:   Rick Jones <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 10:41:43 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0859: Hymen, Adam


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Moray McConnachie <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 11:51:54 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 7.0853  Re: Hymen
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0853  Re: Hymen

>>I saw that production too. The actor came up out of the audience. I thought
>>that she was some little old lady who had lost her way. It was quite a shock
>>when she took  part in the play. The fact that the part was played by a woman
>>was of no consequence, but her entry into the play from the audience marred
>>the play,  I thought.
>
>I too witnessed this bizzarrerie; what made it even stranger was the programme
>note from the director, Steven Pimlott: "I think one has to take the Folio at
>its word and see this as a theophany: the god comes to earth, as in several of
>Shakespeare's late plays.  Hymen is the final manifestation of Arden's magic".

And why not? Suitable to a world which largely regards marriage as a social not
a religious bond (and therefore from earth among us, not lowered from heaven as
in an earlier RSC production). In any case, Hymen is as much performing our
(the audience's) wishes in a public, non-celebratory production, as a mystical
act of union. The programme note is distinctly odd, however - perhaps the
modern director's god is the audience?

Besides, we tend to look with more sophistication on the theatrical use of
flying wires: reserved for Peter Pan and his ilk. Incidentally, regarding the
sex of Hymen: I seem to remember that in Purcell's Faery Queen (it) is played
by a bass. Yours, Moray McConnachie

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Neville <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 08:47:45 -0500
Subject: 7.0859 Re: Hymen
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0859 Re: Hymen

>ADAM DIES and Orlando goes off chatting with the Duke,
>leaving Jaques to deal with the dead Adam. I had never noticed before that
>Adam didn't speak in the second half of the play. Has anyone ever seen Adam
>killed off in another production?

See the Reinhart and Sands Films version, directed by Christine Edzard. Adam
cops it there, too.

Though I have earlier expressed reservations about the RSC Hymen, I have no
problem at all with the death of Adam. I suppose that this is because I knew
little of the play before this year, and , in the two versions that I have seen
this year,  (RSC and the Edzard film) he dies in both.

For David Evett:

Hymen does not appear at all in the Edzard Film

Regards
Steve Neville

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Soller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 07:58:00 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 7.0859 Re: Hymen
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0859 Re: Hymen

As was noted by the discussion, the Hymen in the recent RSC production is an
elderly matron, presumably a member of the local Shakespeare Society or a vocal
financial supporter...it was indeed anachronistic to see her flouncing on to
the stage especially because she was not any part of the production concept. IN
addition I have grown weary of "aluminum poles as trees" approach which appears
to be an epidemic around here.

Larry Soller
Phoenix College

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Yogev <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 17:29:35 +0200 (WET)
Subject: 7.0859 Re: Hymen
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0859 Re: Hymen

I saw the Cheek By Jowls production of AYLI a couple years ago, and thought the
all-male troupe did a brilliant job throughout, but especially with the final
scene including Hymen.  As I recall, Hymen entered in a sort of gold body-suit
and weird headress/hairdo, but the most effective part of the performance was
after all the couples had been properly paired off and the remaining actors
took up their musical instruments to launch into a slow, very erotic tango. The
pairs of lovers began to dance, and Jacques, who had retreated downstage left
(onto the apron), was drawn inexorably back toward center stage where he came
into a rather guarded, even ominous face-to-face meeting with Hymen--and then
the two embraced into a wonderful, nervous tango themselves.  Brilliant!

Michael Yogev
University of Haifa

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Nov 1996 10:41:43 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 7.0859: Hymen, Adam
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0859: Hymen, Adam

I can reply quickly to two posts about AYLI.  I played Adam in a
college/community/semi-pro production several years ago.  I had always assumed
that Adam did indeed die early in the play.  Ah, but I was needed at the end of
the play for "stage balance," so I made a remarkable recovery.

We solved the Hymen question by cutting the scene altogether.  I'm not sure I
agree with the decision, but I wasn't being paid to think...

Rick Jones

P.S. I think I still have my acting copy: I can provide details of eliminating
the Hymen scene off-list if anyone is interested.
 

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