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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Two Endings to Rom.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0671  Sunday, 18 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Billy Houck <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Apr 1999 14:05:17 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.06645 Q: Two Endings to Rom.

[2]     From:   Brad Berens <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Apr 1999 12:55:31 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.06645 Q: Two Endings to Rom.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Apr 1999 14:05:17 EDT
Subject: 10.06645 Q: Two Endings to Rom.
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.06645 Q: Two Endings to Rom.

>A colleague asks for informaiton about a reference a secondary student
>found stating that:
>
>"At one point, two versions of "Romeo and Juliet", one with a tragic
>ending and one with a happy ending, played on alternate nights and the
>audience would choose whichever ending suited their mood at the time."
>
>I can only assume that the Cibber effect was in full bloom... Can anyone
>offer any specific help???

The student might be referring to 19th century touring companies. There
is a delightful representation of the "happy ending R&J" in the RSC's
production of "Nicholas Nickleby" (which is probably available on video
somewhere.)

Billy Houck
Arroyo Grande High School

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brad Berens <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Apr 1999 12:55:31 -0700
Subject: 10.06645 Q: Two Endings to Rom.
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.06645 Q: Two Endings to Rom.

For Skip Nicholson, about the alternative endings to RJ,

I don't have it nearby, but I believe that you can find the anecdote in
John Downes' Roscius Anglicanus, which was originally printed in
something like 1708.  As I recall, the alternative Restoration revision
of the play is no longer extant.

No, wait a minute, I do have it handy after all.  Here's the relevant
citation, already inside my database:

=============================================
Romeo and Juliet,  Wrote by Mr. Shakespear : Romeo,  was Acted by Mr.
Harris ; Mercutio, by Mr. Betterton ; Count Paris, by Mr.  Price,  The
Fryar, by Mr. Richards ; Sampson, by Mr. Sandford; Gregory, by Mr.
Underhill ; Juliet,  by Mrs. Saunderson ; Count Paris's  Wife, by Mrs.
Holden.

Note,  There being a Fight and Scuffle in this Play, between the House
of Capulet, and House of Paris ; Mrs. Holden  Acting his Wife, enter'd
in a Hurry, Crying, O my Dear Count!  She Inadvertently left out, O, in
the pronunciation of the Word Count!  giving it a Vehement Accent, put
the House into such a Laughter, that London Bridge at low Water was
silence to it.

This Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, was made some time after into a
Tragi-comedy, by Mr. James Howard,  he preserving Romeo and Juliet
alive; so that when the Tragedy was Reviv'd again, 'twas played
Alternately, Tragical one Day, and Tragicomical another; for several
Days together.

This is from pages 52-53 of this edition:

Downes, John. 1987. Roscius Anglicanus. Edited by J. Milhous and R. D.
Hume. London: The Society For Theatre Research.

The Howard revision does not survive.  I'm sure that Michael Dobson or
Jean Marsden talk intelligently about this adaptation at some point.

>                       on alternate nights the
>audience would choose whichever ending suited their mood at the time."

I do not know about this facet of the story.

Best wishes,
Brad Berens
 

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