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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: April ::
Assorted Answers
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0396  Tuesday, 28 April 1998.

[1]     From:   Steve Neville <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 1998 14:32:49 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Complete Works

[2]     From:   John McWilliams <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 1998 12:46:59 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0394 Assorted Questions

[3]     From:   Tanya Gough <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 1998 09:43:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare video questions

[4]     From:   Matthew Bibb <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 98 09:13:26 -0800
        Subj:   Assorted Answers

[5]     From:   Tanya Gough <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 1998 16:53:42 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Gielgud audio afterthought

[6]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 1998 17:08:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0394  Assorted Questions

[7]     From:   Mike LoMonico <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 1998 15:12:16 -0400
        Subj:   Eating and Drinking Scenes

[8]     From:   Belinda Johnston <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Apr 1998 14:57:49 +1100
        Subj:   Eating and Drinking Scenes


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Neville <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Apr 1998 14:32:49 +0100
Subject:        Re: Complete Works

>Does anybody know anything about an acting version of the Complete Works
>that was performed in about 50 min or less?  Apparently this was done
>last year in the West End.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company. 'The Complete Works of William
Shakespeare (Abridged)'

Now at the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly Circus, London W1. Telephone :
0171-369-1731.

All 37 plays in 97 minutes. I saw them when they came to Birmingham
Repertory Theatre. 'Othello' as a rap. All the history plays as an
American football game. Hamlet performed backwards and forwards. Very
amusing.

Steve Neville

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John McWilliams <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Apr 1998 12:46:59 +0100
Subject: 9.0394 Assorted Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0394 Assorted Questions

> And has anybody heard of a version of Hamlet that keeps repeating the
> play in reducing time frames until the last version is just people
> killing each other or some such?

Do you mean Dogg Hamlet by Tom Stoppard?

John McWilliams
Cambridge

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Apr 1998 09:43:37 -0400
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare video questions

To hr greenberg - Gielgud is terribly under-represented in video.  The
only titles I know of are Branagh's recent Hamlet (in which he plays a
two second cameo in the Player sequence) and the Burton Hamlet, which he
actually directed but didn't star in.  There is a very young recording
of him on the "Great Shakespeareans" cd - he reads 11 of the 23
excerpts.  I'd also be interested to know if there is anything else out
there. That's all I've got for the moment.

As for the Jacobi Hamlet - that's BBC, so copies are available for
+/-$100.  The only extant R2 at the moment is the Shakespeare Collection
version, with David Birney and Paul Shenar.  We just got it in, so I
haven't had a chance to view it yet.  I'm sure there are audio versions
out there, but I haven't had time to check it out.

To Mike Sirofchuck: I don't have any listings for a 4 video set.  Can
you send me the info?  We do have a single video called "William
Shakespeare: a Life in Drama" from the Biography series.  It's fairly
consistent with the other titles - informative, well organized, not much
new information or deep insights, but coherent and pleasantly
accessible.  I should think it would work well as a background filler
for the high school level.

Tanya Gough

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Bibb <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Apr 98 09:13:26 -0800
Subject:        Assorted Answers

H.R. Greenberg asks, "if there any extensive audios or videos available
of Sir John Gielgud in major Shakespearean roles."

I'm not sure about audio performances, but the IMdB lists Gielgud's
performances as Julius Caesar (1970, with Charlton Heston as Marc
Antony, Jason Robards as Brutus, and Diana Rigg as Portia) and as
Cassius in the Mankiewicz version (1953) as readily available on video.
In addition (and this is in response to your second question as well),
Gielgud played John of Gaunt opposite Derek Jacobi in Richard II in
1978. This is also available on video.

Drew Whitehead then asked:

"Does anybody know anything about an acting version of the Complete
Works that was performed in about 50 min or less?  Apparently this was
done last year in the West End."

This is probably "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)"
by Jess Winfield, Daniel Singer, and Adam Long that was nominated for a
1997 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Three actors perform every
single play, plus the sonnets, in under two hours. The script is in
print and worth reading. It's a hoot.

"And has anybody heard of a version of Hamlet that keeps repeating the
play in reducing time frames until the last version is just people
killing each other or some such?"

This is probably "The Fifteen Minute Hamlet" by Tom Stoppard, in which
the entire story of Hamlet is told - three times! - in 15 minutes. This
script is also in print, but is not a very funny read. It is a riot on
stage.

     Matt Bibb
     Lost Dog Productions

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Apr 1998 16:53:42 -0400
Subject:        Re: Gielgud audio afterthought

Caught another couple audio titles with Gielgud: he provides the
narrative portions of the (Sir William) Walton Film Music series,
reading from Hamlet and As You Like It (Vol. 1), and from Richard III
and Macbeth (Vol. 4).

Cheers,
Tanya

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Apr 1998 17:08:52 -0400
Subject: 9.0394  Assorted Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0394  Assorted Questions

In response to H. R. Greenberg: the Derek Jacobi Hamlet and Richard II
were both performed and taped for the BBC/Time-Life series of the
complete works; they are generally regarded as being among the best of
that series.  The series is widely available in public and college
libraries; if the reference to the Washington Shakespeare Theater means
that you live in that area the tapes should be relatively easy to get.
Or you can buy them for around $100 apiece from any number of commercial
sources.

In response to Drew Whitehead: the version of the R[educed]
S[hakespeare] C[ompany] complete works I saw took a couple of hours, but
could no doubt have been cut even further.  They did a 15-minute, then a
5-minute, then a 1-minute *Hamlet*, each funnier than the last, though
the most memorable moment, in my judgment, occurred when one of the
actors did "To be or not to be" absolutely straight, in a rather quiet
and understated way: it was remarkably moving.  I do not know whether
they have published any version of the script (I think it changes over
time).

In response to Shaula Evans: the obvious possibilities are the tavern
scene in 1 Henry IV and the scene of Orlando and Adam's arrival in the
forest in As You Like It, which includes Jaques' 7 ages of man speech.
But why not consider funking up the climax of Titus Andronicus-it's
tragic, but potentially pretty amusing.
Dave Evett

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike LoMonico <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Apr 1998 15:12:16 -0400
Subject:        Eating and Drinking Scenes

To Shaula Evans:

Let's see...Italian dining and wine-tasting?  Short scenes, comic or not
too heavy, to do with eating and drinking?

How about the last scene from Titus Andronicus?

Mike LoMonico
http://www.shakespearemag.com

[8]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Belinda Johnston <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Apr 1998 14:57:49 +1100
Subject:        Eating and Drinking Scenes

Shauna,

It's not Shakespeare (particularly not, according to many *Macbeth*
scholars!) but there's some fabulous feasting in Middleton's *The
Witch*.  Act One Scene One has a nicely gruesome wedding feast, which
could be quite hilarious depending on how it's played, and Act One Scene
Two has a completely OTT witch banquet.

Regards,
Belinda
 

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