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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: January ::
Re: Pregnant Gertrude
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0099  Thursday, 17 January 2002

From:           Alan Dessen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Jan 2002 14:50:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 13.0088 Re: Pregnant Gertrude
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0088 Re: Pregnant Gertrude

I have nothing to add to the discussion of how playgoers will "read" or
react to a visibly pregnant Gertrude.  I am reminded, however, of one of
my favorite theatre anecdotes--with the joke at my expense.  In the
1980s I saw a production of *Henry VIII* in which an actor I much admire
played Cranmer in distinctive white make-up, applied so heavily that it
called attention to itself.  When I queried him after the show, he said
that he had two explanations.  The first was for the general public:
that Cranmer was a scholar who rarely saw the light of day, etc.  The
other explanation was for me alone: that after over twenty years of
playing a wide assortment of roles, in the series of performances that
summer he finally had the opportunity to use up the white make-up he had
accumulated.  What then happens to my instant symbolic interpretation?

Alan Dessen

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