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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Witches
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.043  Tuesday 2 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Janet Maclellan <
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        Date:   Monday, 1 Mar 1999 10:04:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Witches

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 08:44:26 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0327 Re: Witches


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet Maclellan <
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Date:           Monday, 1 Mar 1999 10:04:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Witches

John Velz writes:

>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.

How unfortunate that the first image that comes to mind upon reading
this is of the witches as Teletubbies...

Janet MacLellan
University of Toronto

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 08:44:26 -0800
Subject: Re: Witches
Comment:        SHK 10.0327 Re: Witches

A couple of interesting witch sightings are my subject.

I was fairly new to noting interesting productions so there is a lot I
don't remember about the RSC production of 1983/84.  I was it as the
Barbican in '84.  It is the production with Bob Peck as Macbeth.  The
witches had an interesting rhythm on the double double speech.  I
produce it below, not the way it is written, but the way they said it.

Double.
Double toil and trouble.

Interesting, what?

I wrote about a production from the California Shakespeare Festival
about 10 years or fewer years ago.  I hadn't learned to do that kind of
writing yet, so it is a bit plodding.  It is in a back issue of
SHAKESPEARE BULLETIN if you care to look it up.  Going by memory, and
mine in imperfect, the witches were completely in control.   They were
on stage in some scenes that does not call for them.  They give Macbeth
a drug.  The director ripped off Orson Welles' film by inventing a
clergyman representing the new Christian order and had that order in
opposition to the old pagan order of the witches.  A weird production in
many ways, but a valiant effort if not a completely successful one.

Mike Jensen
 

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