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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: September ::
Re: Rupees; Kurosawa; Drippings; de Witt; Audiences
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0832  Friday, 11 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Tim Perfect <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 09:31:43 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0824  Re: Caesar's Will

[2]     From:   Tom Sullivan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Sep 98 10:30:56 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0812  Re: Kurosawa's Death

[3]     From:   Peter Hyland <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 14:31:44 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0819  Re: Things British

[4]     From:   Scott Crozier <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Sep 1998 11:26:18 +1000
        Subj:   De Witt

[5]     From:   Alexandra Gerull <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 23:26:41 +0000
        Subj:   Re: Reconstructing Audiences


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tim Perfect <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 09:31:43 -0600
Subject: 9.0824  Re: Caesar's Will
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0824  Re: Caesar's Will

>Reminds me of Lady Bracknell's advice to Cecily: "The chapter on the
>devaluation of the rupee you may omit. It is somewhat too sensational."

Actually, it was Miss Prism, Cecily's "esteemed governess and valued
companion..."  who said that particular line.

"The chapter on the Fall of the Rupee you may omit.  It is somewhat too
sensational.", although devaluation has a more aristocratic ring to it,
wouldn't you say?

Sorry, I'm in the show right now, and it jumped out at me.

Tim

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Sullivan <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Sep 98 10:30:56 -0600
Subject: 9.0812  Re: Kurosawa's Death
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0812  Re: Kurosawa's Death

In one of the obituaries on Kurosawa that I read, Stephen Speilberg made
the same connection with Shakespeare that Drew Mason made.  I second the
motion. I only regret that we will never see a film of _Hamlet_ by him.

     Tom Sullivan

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hyland <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 14:31:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0819  Re: Things British
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0819  Re: Things British

While T. Hawkes is a generally accurate authority on Things British, I
have to take exception to his gratuitous maligning of dripping. It WAS a
great delicacy, which we rough northerners spread on bread (not toast,
which is effete), ate with raw onions, and washed down with
properly-tepid bitter.  Some of us still do, and sod the cholesterol.

Yours,
Peter Hyland

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Crozier <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Sep 1998 11:26:18 +1000
Subject:        De Witt

Thanks to all for the information on De Witt - the wide variety of
resources will help my study.

Scott Crozier

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alexandra Gerull <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Sep 1998 23:26:41 +0000
Subject:        Re: Reconstructing Audiences

I remember a performance of The Merchant of Venice at the small baroque
theater in Celle, my home town. I was about sixteen or seventeen,
already infatuated with the theater and it was about the most boring
Shakespeare I had ever seen. It was a performance for students only and
these performances regularly tended to be more noisy, though not less
observant. Other than those well behaved adult audiences we went to with
our parents, on students' night there was definitely communication going
on in the audience.  Anyway, in the intermission of that Merchant
someone produced a bag of peanuts and for the second half it kept
raining peanuts on stage whenever things got too boring on stage. Some
of us got problems with the security people but after a good booing and
the last curtain everyone kept talking about that performance and what
we liked and what we disliked. Never since have I encountered another
audience as aware of its status as a partner in the performance and as
aware of itself as a group and not just individuals.

As to the New Globe's Merchant: When Peter Zadek did a version of it
with clearly emphasising the anti-semitism inherent in the play he got
bitter criticism from all sides because he used it as a means of
entertainment and did not critique it. Fortunately, he has Jewish
ancestors, otherwise his career could have been over. After decades of
very noble Shylocks on the German stage he went for the stage Jew and -
despite the public outrage- the production was very successful
artistically and economically. There were loud confrontations among the
audience almost every night.

What do we gain if we force a politically correct interpretation on
plays like the Merchant? And does a Shylock not created as a noble
victim or a highly complex character persuade the audience of the
validity of anti-semitic prejudices. To interpret the dark spots away is
to deny there existence. And where would that lead to?

And what about the audience reacting like children in a puppet theater?
Cheering Henry V against the French is a sentiment well provided for in
the play. It is actually so deep engrained in the material that it
frequently lurks up however much one tries to demontage the king. (see
Branagh's Henry). Is this a sudden outbreak of nationalism? As amongst
hooligans during the World Cup? And booing Shylock is that Buchenwald?
Does it lead there? Is theater life? Or is it play? Is the actor who
plays Shylock as a stage Jew a nazi?  Could it be that the audience
assumes a role, apart to play during performance just as actors do?
Personally, I prefer the riotous audience to the well behaved. Well
behaved most often is equal to complacent, disinterested, unwilling to
engage with what is happening on stage. Cut, curtain, black.

Alexandra Gerull
 

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