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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: All-Male H5; Gobbo in Globe Mer.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0672  Monday, 20 July 1998.

[1]     From:   Virginia Byrne <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jul 1998 14:46:10 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

[2]     From:   Michael Friedman <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jul 1998 16:51:32 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

[3]     From:   William Williams <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jul 1998 17:58:36 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

[4]     From:   David Schalkwyk <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Jul 1998 09:39:49 SAST-2
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

[5]     From:   Virginia Byrne <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jul 1998 14:49:54 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0642  Re: Gobbo in Globe Mer.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Virginia Byrne <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jul 1998 14:46:10 EDT
Subject: 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

I also saw that H5 last season and thought it to be magical...I felt the
audience responded appropriately and was astounded at the ability of the
three males portraying women....as a matter of fact it was one of the
most moving productions I had seen to date ....

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jul 1998 16:51:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

I put myself in the ranks of those who were delighted and astounded by
Toby Cockrell's performance as Katherine in the Globe's *H5* last year.
I don't think I ever believed that a young man could convincingly pull
off that type of female role until I observed it in person.  Therefore,
I am incredibly disappointed to hear that Rosalind, in this year's
*AYL*, is not portrayed by a male actor.  I am taking a group of
students to England for a week in August, and I was all prepared to
discuss the effect of seeing a boy playing a girl playing a boy, but now
we hear that a female actor has the role of Rosalind.

My question is, if we can't count on the Globe, with all of its claims
to authenticity, to attempt to reproduce the gender dynamics of *AYL*,
where
else could we possibly expect to discover that sort of viewing
opportunity?
Like many people on this list, I have seen the play several times with a
female
Rosalind, but *AYL*, with its particular emphasis on gender role
playing,
*must* be a different experience with a male actor in the role.  I can
understand all sorts of practical variations from Elizabethan practice,
like
the fire code concessions, but what practical consideration would
*force* a
female Rosalind on a quasi-Elizabethan production?  Does anyone out
there have
any insight into why such a casting decision was made?

        Michael Friedman

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Williams <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Jul 1998 17:58:36 -0700
Subject: 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

This is not precisely on the thread of All-Male H5 but touches on points
raised in two responses.  The folks at the Globe are going to have to
decide pretty soon how far their remit extends in admitting school
parties, particularly unsupervised school parties.  I have been to the
Globe 3 times in the last 10 days, all on weekdays.  At each performance
a substantial portion of the audience (sitting and standing) was school
parties and in most cases without teacher or, so far as I could see, any
adult supervision aside from the terribly overworked Globe ushers who, I
understand, are volunteers.  Of course, The Founders Arms is only a 5
minutes walk up the river.

Of course the Globe has an educational mission, but there is, at least
in the Globe audiences if not the company, a tension between wanting
young people exposed to Shakespeare at the Globe and a wish that young
people who are at the Globe with much the same attitude they might have
while being booked at the local police station should be somewhere other
than the playhouse.  I find it hard to believe that many of this sort
paid a penny to get into Globe I in 1604.  It is a problem which does
not exist in the same way in Stratford, though the RSC has its own
problems with school parties, because that is a traditional 1660+
theatre and the stage and actors look a bit more like the cinema and the
television than does the totally different, and alien, experience at the
Globe.

I fear that many adults may start staying away from the Globe in June
and July thus making the proportion of unsupervised children in the
audience even higher and causing an even greater press for tickets for
August and September.  The management at the Globe is going to have to
cope with this problem sooner or later, may it be sooner.

William Proctor Williams
English/Northern Illinois University

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Schalkwyk <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Jul 1998 09:39:49 SAST-2
Subject: 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0666  Re: All-Male H5

> My problem was the booing which greeted any appearance of the French
> with corresponding cheering when the English entered.  That kind of
> response flattens the play and irons out all the complexity.  For some
> reason, the Globe management seems hell-bent on encouraging the audience
> to behave as though they're at the pantomime, and you see people gearing
> up to boo and hiss even when they obviously don't feel the emotional
> need to do so.  It's a terrible pity, because that theatre space is
> magic, with the capability for all sorts of effects, but its potential
> is, I feel, being stifled by current policy.

Penny Rixon's remark seems to me to sum up all that was wrong with the
production (which I, too, saw, and to which I responded in much the same
way, even though the audience could not claim the excuse of youthful
exuberance or ignorance).  The young man who played Katherine was very
fine, although he was overwhelmed by an audience and a Henry who seemed
to think that they were engaged in a TV sitcom.

The problem lies, not with this or that production, but with the whole
historical philosophy of the Globe, which is to recreate the impossible:
an Elizabethan audience.

David Schalkeyk

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Virginia Byrne <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 17 Jul 1998 14:49:54 EDT
Subject: 9.0642  Re: Gobbo in Globe Mer.
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0642  Re: Gobbo in Globe Mer.

I adored him.....so would  have the author.
 

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