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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: September ::
Re: Lincoln Center TN
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0806  Monday, 7 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Sheila Tombe <
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        Date:   Sunday, 06 Sep 98 12:28:31 EDT
        Subj:   Lincoln Center's Twelfth Night

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Sunday, 6 Sep 1998 13:57:53 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 9.0802  Re: Lincoln Center TN

[3]     From:   Michael Ullyot <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 Sep 1998 00:09:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0802  Re: John Barton


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sheila Tombe <
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Date:           Sunday, 06 Sep 98 12:28:31 EDT
Subject:        Lincoln Center's Twelfth Night

I was dismayed at all the adverse criticism unleashed upon a valiant
attempt to bring Twelfth Night into a contemporary focus.  Set: worked.
Music: fabulous.  Casting: difficult one to comment on.  I was delighted
that many viewers found Sir Andrew pleasing: his part was surely played
by the most adept actor in the cast.  Did the play come alive onstage?
Yes.  Was Olivia annoying?  Well, yes, but perhaps it is refreshing to
see Olivia's restrictive mourning parodied by the very actor who is
playing the role.  As for Helen Hunt: please remember, Shakespeare in
performance is not a competition.  It is an opportunity to explore
character and present a translation of that role to the audience.  This
translation is governed by the vision of the director and the needs of
any particular theatre space.  Often, the actor's abilities will not be
seen to the best effect; rather than criticize, therefore, perhaps we
should remember that Viola, shipwrecked and mourning a lost brother,
must play the part of a man- to a man she craves comfort from, as well
as to a woman she must reject.  Taken in that light, Hunt's delivery
becomes heroic, and if the emphasis in this production was on the
visual, rather than on the poetry, then we must consider ourselves lucky
to be able to go to different productions for different aspects of what
we all agree (I hope) is a wonderful play.

Humbly,
Sheila Tombe.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Sunday, 6 Sep 1998 13:57:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        SHK 9.0802  Re: Lincoln Center TN

Cindy Carter claims that 'there is nothing like the excitement of a live
performance.' Yes there is: the exhilaration afforded by  the  prospect
of the interval, and the sheer delight of not going back for the second
half.  Stratford, this summer, its stage thronged by the usual quota of
cement-drinkers, offered a number of  opportunities.

T. Hawkes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Ullyot <
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Date:           Monday, 7 Sep 1998 00:09:03 -0500
Subject: 9.0802  Re: John Barton
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0802  Re: John Barton

Fran Teague mentioned (in a review of Helen Hunt's recent stage
performance in _Twelfth Night_) John Lahr's piece in the 7 Sept "New
Yorker," on John Barton's "Elizabethan workshop[s] for the stars." The
article makes mention of Barton's stage adaptation of Shakespeare's
first tetralogy into "The Wars of the Roses," which made me wonder if
there had been any scholarly studies or otherwise notable accounts of
Barton's work. Another intriguing tidbit of information was his
authoring of, thus far, "nine of ten plays collectively called
'Tantalus,' a retelling of the story of Troy." Trojan mythology being
one of my primary research interests (cf.
www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/6728), I wonder how readily available is
this "Tantalus," and if (likewise) it has been the subject of any recent
scholarship.

Feel free to respond to me off-list at 
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Michael Ullyot

> recent New Yorker piece by John Lahr about John Barton's work in
> training actors makes it clear that Helen Hunt had prepared with Barton
> before undertaking the role.
 

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