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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: August ::
Re: Barrymore etc.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0863.  Wednesday, 20 August 1997.

From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Aug 1997 07:47:42 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        Barrymore etc.

> Mike Jensen wrote:

> Performance style changes.  Each generation of actors believes it is
> holding the mirror up to nature>

Andy White wrote:

> This is based on what I could gather from the "Great Shakespearians"
> recording which is now available, featuring many of those named by Harry
> Hill.

Oh yes. In *The Companion to the Playhouse* (London: T. Becket & P.A.
Dehondt, 1764), the entry for Garrick makes clear that he was at once
the most naturalistic and technically superior actor that ever was. I
prize my copy of this two-volume theatrical dictionary for its announced
purpose of "For the more readily turning to any particular AUTHOR, or
PERFORMANCE".

Of the Gielgud-heavy offerings on the *Great Shakespeareans* compact
disc, I favour Arthur Bouchier's `Is this a dagger that I see before me'
for similar reasons: it *is* stagey, huge and full of `points' and
`effects', at the same time capturing so many essences of haunting
ambition and visceral/intellectual response to uncontrollable personal
and political impulses and imaginings that I can see only the most
literal of cinematic mirror-naturalists remaining unmoved.

        Harry Hill
 

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