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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Inconsistencies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0724  Monday, 11 March 2002

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 16:06:56 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0708 Re: Inconsistencies

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 12:26:44 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0695 Re: Inconsistencies

[3]     From:   William Sutton <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Mar 2002 07:19:12 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0708 Re: Inconsistencies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 16:06:56 -0000
Subject: 13.0708 Re: Inconsistencies
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0708 Re: Inconsistencies

> Thomas Larque said:
>
> > > I also believe that David Wilson's argument is conclusive:  a working
> > > (adult) actor would surely not shave for a role, particularly in a
> > > repertory system such as the Globe's.

That was actually the post that I was responding to, in my reply I
suggested that it was quite possible that Kent reduced or removed his
beard using false beards (as Bottom talks about wearing when acting as
Pyramus in "Midsummer Night's Dream").

Thomas Larque.
"Shakespeare and His Critics"
http://shakespearean.org.uk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 12:26:44 -0600
Subject: 13.0695 Re: Inconsistencies
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0695 Re: Inconsistencies

Thomas Larque writes:

> It certainly seems likely that
> Elizabethan actors, like most grown Elizabethan men, would feel the need
> to have beards of their own as evidence of their masculinity and status,
> and they may well not have wanted to shave for a part, but part of
> Kent's disguise might consist of taking off a larger more "noble" false
> beard and exchanging it for either a smaller false beard in a "lower
> class" style or for the actor's own more modest facial hair.

I wouldn't dispute the possibility, but he needs to remember that making
faking beards appear authentic requires that they be stuck on with
something, and that detaching them from clean-shaven cheek and chin is a
lot easier than from bearded  ones.

I learned this to my cost, having once had the opportunity to play
Duncan, and double the part of the Old Man, in a college production of
Macbeth. For the latter role I had to wear a bushy "Santa Claus" (Father
Christmas to you Brits) beard. Being rather attached to the beard I wear
normally, and which fit Duncan admirably, I chose not to shave it off --
and nearly went mad trying to get the other beard off it each night. By
the time the play closed after its short run, I had absolutely destroyed
the false beard and gone through agony every night.

Two technical queries, pursuant to this thread:

1) Do any of those on the list who know more about this matter, that is,
tech theatre at the professional level, know of some easy way I could
have handled this?

2) Can any of those who know about tech theatre in Shakespeare's time
tell us if such a secret was known in his time?

Cheers,
don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Sutton <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Mar 2002 07:19:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0708 Re: Inconsistencies
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0708 Re: Inconsistencies

As regards shaving beards or taking off false ones. In sonnet 64
'sometime lofty towers I see down-raz'd' suggests razing has to do with
minimising.

Yours,
W.

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