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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
Re: Mysteries Tapes; Old Criticism; Contemporary
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0699.  Thursday, 26 September 1996.

(1)     From:   Ron Moyer <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Sep 1996 12:01:08 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Mysteries Tapes

(2)     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Sep 1996 19:26:57 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Books from "Prehistory"

(3)     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Sep 1996 16:04:17 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0694  More on Contemporary Cycles


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Moyer <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Sep 1996 12:01:08 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Mysteries Tapes

To David Richman:

The videotapes of _The Mysteries_ are available from Films for the Humanities
(1-800-257-5126).  The three parts--_The Nativity_ (#ALH4040), _The Passion_
(#ALH4041), and _Doomsday_ (#ALH4042)--cast $129 each or $365 when all three
are purchased.  Splendid work, decently presented on video, but the stage
production was most extraordinarily moving--and not solely to devout
Christians.  Much religious drama (such as outdoor passion plays) speak
forcefully to the devout, but leave others cold.  The combination of a story
deeply imbedded in our culture with the Bryden/National company's high level of
craft and aesthetic allowed the production to be enjoyed on many levels.

--Ron Moyer, Theatre, University of South Dakota

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Sep 1996 19:26:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Books from "Prehistory"

Aside from Granville-Barker's Prefaces (which are now back in print, portable
paperback-size, praise be), I would like to add John Masefield's little book,
"William Shakespeare", written when he was quite young.  He manages to find the
essence of the plays in his short articles on each one -- his analysis of
Hamlet is as wonderful as it is brief.  It is also interesting in that he
includes certain plays of questionable authorship, a worthy reminder that we
have had perpetual debates on what really belongs in the Canon.

Masefield's book, unfortunately, is out of print so far as I know.

Andy White
Urbana, IL

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Sep 1996 16:04:17 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 7.0694  More on Contemporary Cycles
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0694  More on Contemporary Cycles

I enjoyed the review of the church night out, although I did feel a little
shame too. Look, most of these medieval cycles are pretty awful really, and
ought indeed to be reserved, as has been well pointed out, for the medieval
faithful; this performance sounds as if it was also reserved for the tasteless.
The tasteless faithful are legion, as we surely know. There are tasteless
faithful bardies who go to the Histories, Comedies and Tragedies too, and they
have little right to scoff at the Rigidly Righteous [Burns, I would remind my
colleagues].

I feel that the reviewer felt no artistic conmpulsion to go. His impulse, it
seems to me, was scholarly. Would he have preferred a bunch of professional
graduate students serving mead to the crowd, dressed in hemp and smelling of
civet, singing dreary roundelays and generally being arch? I am cetain he would
not.

I sense too that he may laugh at the weary, stale, flat and unprofitable bits
of Gobbo, Lance, Feste and Fool when he is in the theatre, but I hope not. I
would not like to hear too many of those knowing chuckles with which I am
already over-familiar. Then there are those who go to the experimental
Shakespeare, those professional avant-garde audiences who sit in quiescent
acceptance of whatever is the theoretical/critical voguery. Oh dear....do I not
like ANYthing?
 

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