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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
Re: Brook Titus Andronicus
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1571  Wednesday, 23 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Marti Markus <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Aug 2000 17:54:38 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1553 Q on 1955 Brook Titus Andronicus

[2]     From:   Patricia Cooke <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 14:58:00 +1200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1553 Q on 1955 Brook Titus Andronicus


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marti Markus <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Aug 2000 17:54:38 +0100
Subject: 11.1553 Q on 1955 Brook Titus Andronicus
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1553 Q on 1955 Brook Titus Andronicus

>I have read that the 1955 Brook production of Titus Andronicus makes
>reference to the Holocaust. Does anyone happen to know more about this
>aspect of the production?  Alan Dessen does not discuss it in his book
>on the play.

Maybe people in the audience got reminded of the Holocaust although (or
because) there were no allusions. Stylistic performances are open to
more interpretations than seemingly realistic ones - but the atrocities
of WW2 were certainly the most obvious link people would make in 1955 -
if they did not want to see the play as some odd conflation of remote
Roman history. Cf.  Sally Beauman's reaction to Brook's production, in
Dessen, p.21: "for post-Buchenwald generations the play's profligate
brutalities no longer seemed comfortably remote, or ridiculous."
(Dessen, Alan C.  Titus Andronicus. Manchester, New York, Manchester UP:
1989.) The first Titus in plain nazi dress was probably in 1967,
directed by Douglas Seale for the Center Stage Baltimore (Dessen, p.
33ff), with Saturninus as Mussolini, Titus as a Prussian officer, the
Andronici in Nazi uniforms, the Goths as a liberating army in "clothes
reminiscent of the Allied Forces in World War II" (R.H. Gardner, Sun, 13
February 1967), and the clown with a star of David on his back.

Personally I would prefer productions in which "good" and "evil",
victims and culprits, are not so clearly labeled. The Swiss playwright
Friedrich D

 

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