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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2117  Monday, 20 November 2000.

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Nov 2000 11:04:54 -0500
        Subj:   Far-Fetched Stage Directions

[2]     From:   Norman J. Myers <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Nov 2000 11:51:48 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2109 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

[3]     From:   Patrick Buckridge <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Nov 2000 12:27:11 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[4]     From:   David Schalkwyk <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Nov 2000 08:44:53 SAST-2
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2109 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Nov 2000 11:04:54 -0500
Subject:        Far-Fetched Stage Directions

Re: Mike Jensen's comments on Kyd's _The Spanish Tragedy_: Jennifer
Lange (Bowling Green State University) published a wonderful article,
"'Be deaf my ears': The Power of Silencing in Thomas Kyd's _The Spanish
Tragedy_," in _SRASP_ 17 (1994): 68-81, which argues that class and
gender are major concerns of the play, and that these concerns are
focused on the issue of control of speech.  She notes that at the end of
the play, Hieronimo and Bel-Imperia both regain control of their own
speech, the former by cutting out his tongue (Even torture can't make
him talk now!), and the latter by suicide.  I would add that the
"play-within-the-play" at the end of _ST_ , which is done in 'sundry
languages,' also functions as a way to give control to the revengers and
take it away from Lorenzo, Balthazar, and the court audience watching
the performance.

In short, there is a lot going on in _ST_. I agree with Mike that it is
a play worth reading, studying, and seeing acted.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman J. Myers <
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Date:           Friday, 17 Nov 2000 11:51:48 -0500
Subject: 11.2109 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2109 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

"Arden of Faversham," which I directed some years back, and which I've
always thought of as a wonderful cross between Alfred Hitchcock and
Monty Python, has some funny stage directions involving Black Will and
Shakebag, two of literature's most bumbling hit men.  In one scene Black
Will is standing next to a street stall while waiting to ambush Arden:

        Here enters a Prentice

        Prentice: "Tis very late; I were best shut up my stall, for here
        will be old filching when the press comes forth of Paul's.
        Then lets he down his window and it breaks Black Will's head.

Later, when they are stumbling about in a dense fog once more trying an
ambush:

        Then Shakebag falls into a ditch.

Norman J. Myers
Professor Emeritus
Bowling Green State University

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patrick Buckridge <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Nov 2000 12:27:11 +1000
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

I don't have a text handy, but surely the one in The Atheist's Tragedy,
where D'Amville accidentally cuts off his own head would be a contender.

Pat Buckridge

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Schalkwyk <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Nov 2000 08:44:53 SAST-2
Subject: 11.2109 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2109 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

Tim Brooks asks:

>Isn't there a Shaw play that calls for a lightning bolt to bounce around
>the stage and strike one or more of the characters?

There is indeed.  It's a delightful one-act farce called "Poison,
Passion and Petrifaction".   When I directed a production years ago, we
used a pair of "lazy tongs" onto which we had fixed a cardboard
lightning bolt.  The lazy tongs allowed hand backstage to flick the
lightning bolt onto and off the set very quickly.  One of the characters
is petrified into a statue at the very end when he inadvertently
consumed a combination of soda water and some other substance (I forget
what it is now) that turns him into a statue.  We used the same stage
hand to hammer a little notice onto his chast which read "The End".

David Schalkwyk
 

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