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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Witches
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0327  Monday 1 March 1999.

[1]     From:   John Savage <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Feb 1999 10:27:42 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 10.0317 Witches

[2]     From:   John Amos <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 Feb 1999 00:21:07 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0320 Re: Witches

[3]     From:   Naomi Kirby <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 Feb 1999 06:55:48 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0317 Witches

[4]     From:   Timothy Peterson <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Feb 1999 12:16:16 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0317 Witches

[5]     From:   Drew Alan Mason <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 Feb 1999 10:57:41 +1300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0317 Witches

[6]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 Feb 1999 23:54:34 -0600
        Subj:   witches on stage


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Savage <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Feb 1999 10:27:42 -0500
Subject: Witches
Comment:        SHK 10.0317 Witches

>I'm wondering if people who have would be willing to pass
>along interesting stagings of the witches.

I saw Ionesco's MACBETT (note spelling) in Paris some years ago.  Toward
the end of the play the witches turned before our eyes into glamorous
bikini-clad bathing beauties, each capable of the Sports Illustrated
annual edition.

The *reason* for this metamorphosis I've never been able to figure out.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Amos <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Feb 1999 00:21:07 +0000
Subject: 10.0320 Re: Witches
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0320 Re: Witches

Thanks so much for all the responses.  They're very helpful.

John A

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Naomi Kirby <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Feb 1999 06:55:48 +1100
Subject: 10.0317 Witches
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0317 Witches

One of the most intriguing staging decisions of the witches I've seen
was in a production in Malmo (Sweden) in which the witches actually
played the part of most of the other characters.  Now, we couldn't
actually understand the words, so we had no idea whether the text had
been changed, but the action VERY clearly indicated that the witches
were orchestrating everything - Lady Macbeth, Banquo - while Macbeth saw
them as particular individuals, we saw them as incarnations created and
played by the witches.  (It was also interesting for English speakers to
hear what must have been "Double, double, toil and trouble" rendered in
Swedish - to the unfamiliar ear, VERY witch-like sounds!)

Naomi Kirby

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Melbourne, Australia

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Peterson <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Feb 1999 12:16:16 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 10.0317 Witches
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0317 Witches

A couple years ago, the National Shakespeare Theater in DC staged
Macbeth with an interesting approach to the witches.  They were clad in
black, skin-tight spandex-like material and looked very strong and
athletic.  The witches dropped down onto the stage with what looked like
mountain climbing ropes and harnesses.  In several scenes, they were
perched above the stage in a tree watching the action below and laughing
at Macbeth, as if they didn't believe their own prophecies and had made
them up to fool Macbeth.  They came across as very powerful and
manipulative.  The staging made the rest of the characters look a little
less mature and more feeble minded.

--T.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Drew Alan Mason <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 Feb 1999 10:57:41 +1300
Subject: 10.0317 Witches
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0317 Witches

I have found that the most interesting (and also terrifying) staging of
the witches is done in Akira Kurasawa's film Throne of Blood. He has
reduced the number to only one witch, but is altogether frightening.
The film is also an absolutely wonderful adaptation of Macbeth as well.
Lady Washizu herself is also quite spooky at times.  Check it out, I
know Blockbuster carries it in the foreign film section.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 Feb 1999 23:54:34 -0600
Subject:        witches on stage

John Amos asks about stage versions of the witches scenes in Mac..

In the production at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in 1979, the
witches were played by males.  One of them was bare chested, and in the
prophecy scene the images from the future were flashed off his/her chest
as if it were a film screening.  The other two witches stood beside
him/her and moved him/her about to keep the images squarely on the bare
chest.  It seemed hokey to some of us in the audience, but we bore up
under the staging.

Cheers, and good luck with finding other stagings.  Don't forget the
staging in the "Japanese Macbeth", i.e., "Throne of Blood" but of course
this is a film, not a theater production.

John Velz
 

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