The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0007 Tuesday, 2 January 2001
Date: Saturday, 30 Dec 2000 03:47:21 +0000
Subject: Shakespeare The Player by John Southworth
Has anyone read the new book "SHAKESPEARE THE PLAYER - A Life In The
Theatre" by John Southworth? Southwork is an actor, and not
surprisingly he argues that Shakespeare's experience as an actor has
been neglected. Much of the book is taken up by Southworth's theories
about which roles Shakespeare played. The theories are interesting, but
I don't think the author presents much evidence to support them.
Some of what he has to say about doubling is entertaining. He believes
in "COMEDY OF ERRORS" the part of the twin Dromios were both played by
Kempe, and that the twin Antipholuses (Antipholi?) were also doubled,
although he doesn't speculate as to who played them. I would think that
doubling the twins would be confusing to an audience, not to mention the
problems it would cause in the last scene.
(Southworth believes Shakespeare played the Duke in "Comedy of Errors.")
Southworth also believes Shakespeare himself doubled the roles of the
Ghost and Claudius in "HAMLET." This seems very unlikely. If
Shakespeare had played Claudius as well as the Ghost, I would imagine it
would have been mentioned by whoever it was that claimed Shakespeare
played the Ghost in "HAMLET" and Adam in "AS YOU LIKE IT" (although I
know that claim is suspect in the first place).