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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Hamlet Interval
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1678  Monday, 4 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Friday, 1 Sep 2000 12:39:43 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interval

[2]     From:   Andrew W. White <
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        Date:   Friday, 1 Sep 2000 15:23:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interval

[3]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Friday, 1 Sep 2000 15:36:47 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interv


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Friday, 1 Sep 2000 12:39:43 -0500
Subject: 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interval
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interval

Speaking of bad places for an interval (and this looks like one), I
recall a production of "King Lear" here some years back, lousy in a
myriad ways, which deftly sliced the play in two at the end of III.vi.
"Lurk, lurk" said Edgar, and did. So we all went outside for a natter
and a smoke, and when we came back, the poor actors were faced with the
task of getting us up to speed for the blinding of Gloucester from a
standing start.  But then so casually wasting the immense momentum of
Act Three was typical of the gaffes that night.  And don't get me
started on the set...

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew W. White <
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Date:           Friday, 1 Sep 2000 15:23:07 -0400
Subject: 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interval
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interval

Pervez Risvi writes:

> ... After the break, both actors resumed their positions and
> Hamlet continued with "Now might I do it pat". The production got bad
> reviews and this novelty was one thing the critics seized upon.

I think it was Shaw who once said "If you do one thing in your Hamlet
that is ridiculous, your Hamlet will be remembered as ridiculous."

'nuff said.  I've always felt the interval after "How all occasions"
made more sense -- there is, after all, a substantial passage of time
after that speech.

Andrew White

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Friday, 1 Sep 2000 15:36:47 -0700
Subject: Re: Hamlet Interval
Comment:        SHK 11.1639 Re: Hamlet Interval

The "cliff-hanger" effect not only puts pressure on the scene, but also
on the actors. The poor actor playing Hamlet might never be able to
regain the tension of the moment, and the huge gap between Claudius
kneeling down and then rising to say his prayers are futile, must be
deadly. What a bad idea this was! Most productions I've seen or been
involved with have the interval before the inner play -- this makes for
a long second act, but so what? In Shakespeare's day, there was no such
thing as an intermission.

Paul E. Doniger
The Gilbert School
 

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