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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: May ::
Re: Eunuchs Onstage
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1107  Monday, 29 May 2000.

From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 May 2000 16:02:25 +0100
Subject: 11.1104 Re: Eunuchs Onstage
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1104 Re: Eunuchs Onstage

David Kathman continues our debate of the Malfi cast list:

GIE> So, the bracket does belong beside "The Doctor" and "Cariola".

DJK> It's also possible that it belongs beside only one of these.  If it
was
DJK> mistakenly extended to the Officers, might it not have also been
DJK> extended by mistake to one of the other roles?

A bracket yokes 2 or more things. We must suppose that there shouldn't
have been a bracket at all, or else we look for the 2+ items to be
joined.

GIE> These parts can be doubled or perhaps he played
GIE> one in the original performance and one in the
GIE> revival. The first suggestion, doubling, struck Bentley
GIE> as a bit odd ("surely the King's company could have
GIE> spared hired men better fitted for the Doctor's part
GIE> than the boy who played Cariola" JCS 2:519) and
GIE> the latter is quite a step down for an actor if the
GIE> move is Cariola (original run) -> Doctor (revival),
GIE> but a plausible step up if Doctor -> Cariola.

DJK> It's also possible that he played only one of the roles,
DJK> presumably in the revival.  We have no guarantee
DJK> that *all* of the roles are properly given for both
DJK> productions.  Perhaps the person compiling the
DJK> list knew that Pallant had played one (or both) of
DJK> these roles in the more recent revival, but did not
DJK> know who played it/them in the original production,
DJK> so he put down only Pallant's name.

I can't accept the "one role" hypothesis because of the bracket. He was
too young to play the Doctor in the original production (on that we are
agreed) so the only remaining possibilities are that he went from
Cariola (1st run) to Doctor (revival), which is an unlikely progression,
or he doubled the parts in the revival, which is also odd. I'm happy to
give up the Malfi cast list as inconclusive.

GIE> G E Bentley (the source of this burial information) wrote
GIE> that "it seems likely" the burial of "Robert Pallant a man
GIE> in the church" on 4 September 1619 was the player.

DJK> Hmmm.  Where does he say this?  Is it in his 1928 TLS
DJK> article?  In *The Jacobean and Caroline Stage* (v.2, p.519)
DJK> Bentley writes that Robert Pallant "was buried in this parish
DJK> [St. Saviour Southwark] in 1619," without any equivocation.

Yes, in the 1928 TLS article. (I can send it as a TIFF file to anyone
who wants it.)

DJK> If the Nicholas Burt born in 1621 is the actor, this would fit
DJK> in pretty well with what Wright says and with the ages of
DJK> the Shatterells.

So it's not him in the Barnavelt ms.

DJK>There was a Nicholas Underhill who was a royal musician
DJK> in 1603, and since this *may* have been the same as the
DJK> actor who first appears for sure in 1624, I included that
DJK> date in his dates of flourishing.  But given the time span,
DJK> it seems hazardous to make the identification with
DJK> any degree of certainty.  You're right that *if* Nicholas
DJK> Underhill the actor is the same man referred to in 1602
DJK> and/or 1603, he obviously wasn't a boy in 1619.

So he's no good to your side either. Since my side has a 'Nick'
available in the King's men your side needs an alternative candidate, I
think.

DJK> I'm not saying that we can definitely say that Nicholas
DJK> Tooley didn't play a woman in 1619, just that I see no
DJK> reason to think that he was this "Nick", especially
DJK> given all the other positive evidence that women's
DJK> roles were played by teenage boys.

Fair enough, although you're evaluating part of the evidence (Barnavelt)
in the light of tentative conclusions reached from the other evidence.

DJK> I also hope that any differences of opinion which remain
DJK> will be amicable ones.

Of course. (The 'hobby-horse' slur touches us not.)

Gabriel Egan
 

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