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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: October ::
Re: 'The Scottish Play
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2257  Monday, 1 October 2001

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Sep 2001 17:03:36 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'

[2]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Sep 2001 09:50:33 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'

[3]     From:   Andrew W. White <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Sep 2001 21:40:18 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'

[4]     From:   Melissa Cook <
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        Date:   Sunday, 30 Sep 2001 08:20:51 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2155 Re: 'The Scottish Play'


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Sep 2001 17:03:36 +0100
Subject: 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'

I'm a supporter of Newcastle United, a wealthy, well-supported, but
completely unsuccessful football (aka 'soccer') team.  Probably our
worst ever manager was one Kenny Dalgleish, previously a very successful
player for Celtic, Liverpool and Scotland.

So bad was Mr Dalgleish, that he is now referred to on Newcastle United
discussion lists as 'TSM' - The Scottish Manager.

Toonly yours,
Jonathan Hope

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Sep 2001 09:50:33 -0700
Subject: 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'

>> Thus my technical question: is there any other play (Elizabethan or
>> otherwise) to which such an elaborate superstition has been attached?
>
>Marlowe's "Faustus".  The superstition isn't as elaborate, but is
>similar to one of the "Scottish Play" ones. There, an extra murderer
>appears, either as the non-speaking one in the script or in addition to
>the actors assigned to the Banquo-Fleance business. In "Faustus", the
>conjuring of demons/devils conjures a real one, who appears in scenes
>costumed as the actors are, either as one more "extra" than is in the
>cast, or in the place of an actor who should be present but is not, due
>to some uncanny happenstance.

Two additional remarks:

The "extra" demon in Faustus shows up as a story about Edward Alleyn,
accidentally conjuring up a real devil by mistake.  William Prynne
quotes this story in *Histriomastix* in 1633 and by John Aubrey in 1673,
who adds that in repentence Alleyn founded Dulwich College.  (See E.K.
Chambers *The Elizabethan Stage* 3:423-4).  This event becomes the
inspiration for a mystery story called *The Merry Devils* by "Edward
Marston".  It's a great book, and I wish I knew who "Marston" is;
supposedly a Renaissance scholar writing pseudonymously.

I have always privately thought that *Tis Pity Shees A Whore* was cursed
in a different way--that it is doomed to bring out unwise and sick
relationships in the cast.  I thought I was the only one who thought
this, until I read Tom Stoppard's *The Real Thing.*  If anyone has also
noticed this, I'd love to know about it; it's ok with me if you respond
off list rather than cluttering up traffic on rumors of curses in John
Ford.

Melissa D. Aaron

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew W. White <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Sep 2001 21:40:18 -0400
Subject: 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2242 Re: 'The Scottish Play'

As for the 1937 Old Vic production, my recollection is that there were
production difficulties, which forced the opening night back one week.
Given the thread-bare finances of the Vic, that would have been enough
to send dear Ms. Baylis over the edge.

Was it Tyrone Guthrie directing that one?

Andy White
University of Maryland, College Park

P.S. -- The Performing Arts Center suffered minor damage; unfortunately,
the trailers behind it, occupied by Emergency Training, were wiped out.
Frank Hildy, and Scot Reese (were there more?) are to be commended for
their efforts pulling people out of what was left of those places.  I
wasn't there, but the view from the windows in the Theatre wing was
mighty scary.  Here's hoping they have a procedure for twisters the next
time one comes.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa Cook <
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Date:           Sunday, 30 Sep 2001 08:20:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.2155 Re: 'The Scottish Play'
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2155 Re: 'The Scottish Play'

I believe it is a worldwide superstition.  And as for interesting
things, the latest thing I have heard the play called has been MacBeast.

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