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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: October ::
Re: Bankside Globe
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0930  Friday, 2 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Richard Dutton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 1 Oct 1998 14:17:00 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe

[2]     From:   R. Thomas Simone <
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        Date:   Thursday, 1 Oct 1998 10:43:18 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0912  Re: Bankside Globe

[3]     From:   James P. Lusardi <
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        Date:   Thursday, 01 Oct 1998 11:47:18 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe

[4]     From:   Barbara D. Palmer <
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        Date:   Thursday, 1 Oct 1998 23:35:57 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe

[5]     From:   Marilyn Bonomi <
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        Date:   Friday, 02 Oct 1998 09:43:12 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Dutton <
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Date:           Thursday, 1 Oct 1998 14:17:00 +0100
Subject: 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe

On Ed Pixley's point about 'hearing' plays as distinct from 'seeing'
them, he would find Andy Gurr's work (e.g. in 'Playgoing in
Shakespeare's London', but also elsewhere) on the different usage of
'audience' and 'spectators' a useful starting point.

Richard Dutton

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. Thomas Simone <
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Date:           Thursday, 1 Oct 1998 10:43:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0912  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0912  Re: Bankside Globe

If I might make a brief response to Rosalind King and David Nicol about
Globe audiences.

Rosalind King's experience with the history of the situation is much
greater than mine, though I believe we agree that the question of
audience behavior, whether spontaneous or prompted, does cause serious
issues for actors, directors, and many audience members.

As for the response of the actors, I believe the Globe Shylock (forgive
me, his name escapes me and my program is elsewhere) was quite disturbed
by the audience reaction to his performance. I do not believe the
MERCHANT production was particularly good, and it surely did not know
what to do with the Shylock and anti-semitic elments of the play or the
audience.

In response to David Nicol about the AS YOU LIKE IT production, the
"milling audience" was clearly included in the production's plans.  All
of the yard action and the majority of entrances and exits through the
yard showed a production concern with involving and directing the
audience's attention.  One of my students who went to a second
performance, now in the yard, exclaimed "I held Orlando's coat!"  And
another said, "Touchstone shared my beer!"

The point is, in my view, that the dynamic of the theater and the
greater mobility of body and voice in the audience demand a good
production that considers the experience of the new Globe.  I believe
that, among other things, the AS YOU LIKE considered and worked very
well with the theater and the audience.  The MERCHANT production seemed
adrift.

One further note, my students who saw two performances of AS YOU LIKE IT
OBSERVED that the actors, in particularly John McEnery as Jaques,
modulated how to play the crowd.  According to a couple of my student
reporters, in the second performance the cast omitted some comic stage
business when it looked as if audience uproar might get out of hand.

At any rate, seeing both AS YOU LIKE IT and MERCHANT at the Globe this
summer, helped me see both some of the potential and some of the
problems the theater poses.

Whether we agree with what happens there or not, the very presence of
the building and the performances there has stirred up new interest in
the nature of staging  Shakespeare.

Best to all,
Tom Simone
University of Vermont

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James P. Lusardi <
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Date:           Thursday, 01 Oct 1998 11:47:18 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe

On the role of the theatre audience in Shakespeare's plays, see Ralph
Alan Cohen, "Watching Richard Lie:  'We're Actors; We're the Opposite of
People,'" in Shakespeare Bulletin 16.3 (Summer 1998): 24-28--the current
issue.

Jim Lusardi

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara D. Palmer <
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Date:           Thursday, 1 Oct 1998 23:35:57 -0400
Subject: 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe

Ed Pixley asks if Hamlet's references to "hearing a play" rather than
our diction of "seeing a play" reflect on Elizabethan audience
behavior.  No, if the published and unpublished Records of Early English
Drama (REED) collections are accurate measures.  The customary
(actually, I know of no variations thus far) phrase in the records is
that one goes to hear a play: e.g., "Pd to my master when he went to
hear a play at poule's" or "pd to the links when my mistress went to
hear a play at blackfriars."  This phrasing of going "to hear a play"
holds for all of the extant Talbot, Shrewsbury, Saville, Wentworth,
Hardwick, Clifford, and Ingram family records-no mean sample and with a
chronological spread from c.1590 to c.1640.  Interestingly, the topic of
why "hearing" then and "seeing" now are the descriptors of preference
produced lively albeit inconclusive discussions at both York Cycle
scholarly colloquia this past summer (Toronto in June, York in July).

Barbara D. Palmer
Mary Washington College
Fredericksburg, VA

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn Bonomi <
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Date:           Friday, 02 Oct 1998 09:43:12 -0400
Subject: 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0925  Re: Bankside Globe

Regarding audience behavior in Elizabethan England:  There is a diatribe
by Stubbs, I believe, (which I simply cannot lay hands on b/c I'm moving
house and literally everything I own but the clothing I'm about to go
pack is boxed and sealed) in which he uses satiric directions on how to
behave (talk to the actors, eat, behave in other rude ways) in order to
criticize the behavior of those attending plays.  Sorry I can't be more
specific, but apparently, if my memory serves me correctly, there were
those in Shakespeare's time who would have felt just as many
SHAKSPERians do about audience behavior at the Globe.

In a couple of weeks, perhaps I'll be UNpacked and can find the precise
reference....

Marilyn Bonomi
 

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