Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: November ::
Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0869.  Friday, 22 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Steve Neville <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 10:50:17 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0863 Re: Hymen and Adam

(2)     From:   David Evett <R0870%
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 10:17 ET
        Subj:   SHK 7.0859  Re: Hymen

(3)     From:   Douglas M Lanier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 09:41:17 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0863 Re: Hymen and Adam

(4)     From:   Joseph Lockett <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 17:06:07 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: Hymen and Adam -- and Touchstone


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Neville <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 10:50:17 -0500
Subject: 7.0863 Re: Hymen and Adam
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0863 Re: Hymen and Adam

>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

The best description that I have seen for this actor was sent to me in a
private e-mail message after my original post. The writer commented that he and
his friends thought that Barbara Bush had decided to take in the show, and then
decided to take part. You have to have been there to know how apt this is. But
hasn't this poor woman's Hymen taken enough of a battering now ?

Regards
Steve Neville

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 10:17 ET
Subject: Re: Hymen
Comment:        SHK 7.0859  Re: Hymen

Having old Adam croak on stage does seem extreme--reading the play by way of
Iago's account of service at the beginning of _Othello_?  But it's true that
his thematic function--helping to distinguish between the good old days of
faithful service and brotherhood and hospitality, and the new-fangled ways in
which everything is explicitly commodified (Shakespeare is only rehearsing a
familiar topos of later-C16 writing about social forms)--once satisfied, and
the old forms rediscovered in the depths of Arden, he's set aside.  It's the
general fate of servants in early modern plays--Pisanio, who has saved
Posthumus from his own worst self and done his best for Imogen, is ignored at
the end of _Cymbeline_, Lear's faithful Fool disappears in a manner very
similar to Adam's, Tranio, who has enriched his old master Vincentio as well as
his young master Lucentio by his excellent acting and negotiating, barely
escapes a slit nose, etc.

Serviceably,
Dave Evett

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas M Lanier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 09:41:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0863 Re: Hymen and Adam
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0863 Re: Hymen and Adam

Mention of the Edzard *As You Like It* raises a question:  is this film
available in the US in NTSC format?

Cheers,
Douglas Lanier

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph Lockett <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 21 Nov 1996 17:06:07 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Re: Hymen and Adam -- and Touchstone

I was in a collegiate production in 1989, directed by the RSC's Alan David (who
I believe played Touchstone in the previously mentioned RSC production). He
described the descent from heaven of an enormous hollow egg containing a rather
floridly singing countertenor (Hymen).  One night the fly system malfunctioned,
tilting the egg precipitously mid-air and prompting an eminently
audience-audible obscenity from within....

David delivered the Hymen speech himself in our production (though credited
only as "A Voice"), as a previously-taped sound effect.  Sort of the divine
speech permeating all but with only emotional, not physical presence, I
suppose.

Oh, Adam survived in our version.  And while we're discussing production-
specific business, how have list members seen Touchstone's "Seven Degrees of
the Lie" performed in different venues?  I had the great privilege of playing
Touchstone for David, who passed on to me the series of actor- produced sound
effects that he used in the role.  I saw something similar in the Alley Theatre
(Houston)'s production a few years back, in which the on-stage band provided
percussion effects for the schtick.  David viewed the speech as potentially
deadly without some exterior additions for audience amusement, and I'm curious
to see how other performers have navigated it.

P.S.  Any of our British listmembers know, by chance, how to get in touch with
Alan David these days?  He'd just gotten married when he directed us at Rice in
1989, and I'd love to drop him a line to see how he's getting on and pass along
a bit of my own news.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.