2001

Re: Olivier's R3

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2414  Tuesday, 23 October 2001

[1]     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 12:49:59 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3

[2]     From:   Ann Carrigan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 16:37:19 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 13:50:31 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3

[4]     From:   Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 16:01:28 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 12:49:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.2408 Olivier's R3
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3

Um, may I take issue with the characterization of Gielgud's "mincing"
Clarence?  To begin with, it is the voice that Gielgud is known for, not
the 'port of Mars.'  The "cat with rickets" had struggles with
physicality, as he himself admitted.

Second, how on earth can Sam Small characterize Gielgud's _voice_ as
'mincing'?  Having heard Gielgud's detached, morose _Hamlet_, the panic
and genuine fear in Clarence were a revelation to me.  It's got music,
feeling, and if played in a full-sized theatre instead of a puny plastic
box in one's front room, it raises the hair on the back of one's head.

In a sense, Olivier's R-III demonstrates the variety of approaches to
Shakespeare that existed in his day -- much like Branagh's insistence on
variety in his own films.  Funny, though, how Olivier's casting never
gets criticized, just the actors themselves, while Branagh - who did
much the same thing -- always gets panned for his casting.

Cheers,
Andy White

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ann Carrigan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 16:37:19 EDT
Subject: 12.2408 Olivier's R3
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3

> Larry's performance is most forceful and quite outshines the entire
> cast, but while Olivier attempted to get "down-and-dirty" the rest of
> the players failed to take a cue.  Ralf Richardson was particularly
> guilty as Buckingham.  In the "clock scene" Buckingham realises in a few
> seconds that he has fallen from the second most powerful person in
> England to a dead man in a gutter.  Richardson was either in total
> ignorance of this or felt it unnecessary to show it.

Sam Small wrote about Olivier's "Richard III" film, and echoed some of
my feelings about it. Overall, I found it too decorous in the places
where the bloodthirst and wrath should be palpable. The cast and style
would have been interesting had Olivier been doing "Richard II" -- and I
imagined that pearly voice of his in the lead role.

I have seen three vigorous R3's on stage over the past five years or so
-- Orlando Shaks Fest, Alabama Shaks Fest, and the visiting RSC
production in Michigan earlier this year. All succeeded in my
estimation, and all had a wonderful rapport between Richard and the
audience, and between Richard and Buckingham. In my opinion that
intimacy with the audience is hard to achieve in the scope of a feature
film. Howell's BBC Shakespeare tackled this problem by having Richard
(Ron Cook) speak and look into the camera in a tight one-shot. I thought
it worked well. On a huge screen, it might not.

--Ann Carrigan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 13:50:31 -0700
Subject: 12.2408 Olivier's R3
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3

Not surprisingly, some of the comments about the film version of
Olivier's *RIII* rather missed the point.

Olivier hired those actors and directed them.  They probably gave him
what he wanted, so the responsibility is his.  In this interpretation,
they didn't give bad performances, they just have a different style than
Olivier's, which I suspect was his point.  It is a way of isolating
Richard.  Olivier did a lot to isolate Richard in this film.

It is also noteworthy that the reviews of 1955, most of which I have
read, do not mention this "problem."  I think the contrasting styles may
be more distinct today than they were in their native era.

Mike Jensen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 16:01:28 -0500
Subject: 12.2408 Olivier's R3
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2408 Olivier's R3

To add to Sam Small's "take" on Olivier's R3 (the film), I would like to
contribute that one of the devastating effects of Olivier's performance
was his drawing the audience into the cheery "comedy" of Richard's
plotting and crimes - then the horror of our "collaboration" dawns on us
as and when it does on Buckingham. (Richard: "Chop off his head, man...
Somewhat we will do.")

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is the balletic performance
of Olivier and Richardson in the scene of Buckingham's report to Richard
of the townspeople's reaction to the suggestion that Richard should have
the crown (in the play, the report is to Gloucester - III, vii ) -
during which Buckingham/Richardson prepares a sandwich, punctuating his
remarks with the addition of ingredients, while Richard/Olivier "dances"
around him, desperate for his report.

L. Swilley

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Re: Doubling in Macbeth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2413  Tuesday, 23 October 2001

[1]     From:   Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 20:17:49 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2402 Double trouble

[2]     From:   Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 13:47:18 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth

[3]     From:   Seija Sinikki <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 13:04:33 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth

[4]     From:   Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Oct 2001 21:46:13 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 20:17:49 +0000
Subject: 12.2402 Double trouble
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2402 Double trouble

>From: Hugh Davis

 [...]Can anyone on the list tell me of productions that might have used
this instance of [witches/murderers]doubling?

The Cambridge season Macbeth this year is the latest I think that I've
seen this done. You will be aware of doubling Seyton/Macbeth as the
third I suppose but they are nomally in character.

Best wishes, Graham Hall

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 13:47:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth

I was in a production of Macbeth a few years ago. I thought that I had
an interesting job, especially considering I tripled as the Porter, the
3rd Murderer, and Seyton, all of which occurred to me at the time to be
ephemeral and cryptic characters. They all have really important yet
bizarre roles in the plot/thematic structure of the play. I suppose I
could have been a weird sister as well and I would have fit right in.

Brian Willis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Seija Sinikki <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 13:04:33 -0800
Subject: 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth

Hugh Davis writes on doubling in Macbeth:

>But one instance of doubling came up quite naturally--the
>three girls
>who volunteered to read the 3 witches also decided to read the
>three >murderers.  Can anyone on the list tell me of productions that
>might
>have used this instance of doubling?

William A. Ringler has an interesting essay, "The Number of Actors in
Shakespeare's Early Plays," (in The Seventeeth-Century Stage. A
Collection of Critical Essays) on doubling, in which he writes that the
49-character cast of Julius Caecar could be played by 16 actors. His
analysis of the pre-Globe plays show that all of these early plays can
be produced with a cast of 16. Ringler thinks that Shakespeare carefully
crafted his plays for the Chamberlain's company which had 16 actors, and
that he kept, with a few minor exceptions, the original pattern of
writing plays for 16 actors to the end of his career.

I, too, have wanted to know whether doubling is still practised. I think
that the doubling of the roles of Cressida and Helen, for instance,
would evoke interesting associations and perhaps even give new insights
into the play. I would suggest that Shakespeare had this doubling in
mind when writing the play, for Pandarus is continuously associating the
two women. I would also double Cordelia and the Fool. Any response from
the professionals?

Seija Sinikki

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 21:46:13 -0700
Subject: 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.2402 Doubling in Macbeth

I wish I could remember whose production it was, but sometime in the
last 10-15 years, one of the witches doubled as the mysterious third
murderer. The other two had Banquo "dispatched" and Fleance caught. The
boy was clearly taken. The third murderer --the witch-- grabbed Fleance,
kutched him into her cloak, and sped him offstage. Presumably she was
interested in keeping him alive since she had prophesied that Banquo
would "get kings" and the kid obviously figured in that plan.

Cheers,
Skip Nicholson
South Pasadena (CA) HS
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Q: Elizabethan Hagiographies

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2411  Monday, 22 October 2001

From:           Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 21 Oct 2001 11:01:51 -0700
Subject:        Q: Elizabethan Hagiographies

I'm wondering if list members can point me to lives of
saints/hagiographies from the late sixteenth century, and that
Shakespeare might have had access to/knowledge of (aside from Foxe,
which I've already been through in detail).

I'm especially interested in any that mention a rather obscure saint
named Angelo de Gualdo.

Thanks,
Steve

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Re: Actors' Additions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2412  Tuesday, 23 October 2001

From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 10:34:21 EDT
Subject: 12.2405 Re: Actors' Additions
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2405 Re: Actors' Additions

RE: naive readings of character speeches:

Shakespeare's voice is not to be found in the voice of a fictional
character in a play attributed to him. Fiction is not autobiography.

RE Orlando Furioso:

I do not agree that because there is a discrepancy between the 'part' of
Orlando and the (pretty rough) quarto play that this a confirmation of
Bill Godshalk's theory of non-intervention. If an actor's part is
different to the published part (both additions and ommisions as I
remember) then we should conclude three key points:

(1) The actor may have amended his part:

(a) on his own
(b) from the advice of the playwright
(c) all of the above

(2) The playwright may have amended the part:

(a) on his own
(b) from the advice of the actors
(c) all of the above

(3) the published text is not always identical with:

(a) the performed text
(b) the manuscript text
(c) the prepared actors' parts

Renaissance theatrical practice is complex as are the documents by which
we derive information about it.

The only plain fact is that an actor's part exists which offers an
alternate version of the particular text. There is thus the possibility
that the amended part was not performed or that if it was performed it
is not derive from the same performance as that recorded in the
published text, or that the published text is perhaps based only upon
the play manuscript and has nothing to do with performance. Take your
pick. But the alternative actor's part exists...leading us to wonder WHO
amended it.

Remember Life is complex...

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Desdemona's Name

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2410  Monday, 22 October 2001

From:           John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 19 Oct 2001 18:02:04 -0500
Subject:        Desdemona's Name

Ed Kranz at 2371 wonders about Desemona's name.  That demon Cavell
mentioned is not a Christian demon; as some etymologists point out, her
name is probably from Greek dysdaimon, "ill-starred" as we would say in
modern English.

Cheers for etymons,
John

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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