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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: 1975 Measure for Measure
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0878  Friday, 29 March 2002

[1]     From:   John D. Cox <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 12:46:12 -0500
        Subj:   Measure for Measure

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 10:17:50 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure

[3]     From:   Paul Swanson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 18:49:07 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John D. Cox <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 12:46:12 -0500
Subject:        Measure for Measure

Emma Bull asks for information about the 1975 Stratford Ontario *Measure
for Measure*.  I'm sorry I can't help, but I was struck to see in her
message that Robin Philips gave the play a Freudian interpretation,
because I DID see a production of the play two years later in Ashland,
Oregon, that followed the same line.  The costuming was early
twentieth-century Viennese, and much was made of sexual repression.
Repression, for example, was no less the duke's problem than it was
Angelo's and Isabella's.  This was suggested in an opening dumb show.
The duke emerged downstage before an opaque curtain.  He was looking
with some agitation at a large book.  Slowly the lights came up behind
the curtain, through which we could dimly see.  What we saw was a woman
hanging by her hands, bare to the waist, being whipped by a man.  Just
as we made out this apparition, the duke flung the book to the stage in
apparent anger and disgust, and the lights went down.  The lines of the
play then began.  I took it that we were seeing the duke looking at a
sex book, and what we saw behind him was what he was seeing in the
book.  The implication was that he was as ambivalent about his sexuality
as Angelo.

John Cox
Hope College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 10:17:50 -0800
Subject: 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure

Emma,

If you haven't already, you might have a peek at the following:

Pettigrew, John, and Jamie Portman, *Stratford: The First Thirty Years,
vol. 2* Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1985, p.p. 63-66.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Swanson <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Mar 2002 18:49:07 -0600
Subject: 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0866 1975 Measure for Measure

Emma Bull inquires about the Stratford Festival's 1975 production of
Measure. Keith Garebian's "William Hutt: A Theatre Portrait" (Mosaic
Press, 1988) is an interesting biography of Hutt and contains brief
discussion of the production in question.


According to Garebian, "Hutt's Dukehad an eye for a housemaid's thigh
and an arm to embrace a junior officer with more than comradeliness. The
London Times concluded that Hutt showed how the balance of mercy and
justice could be achieved only by one who had acknowledged his
fallabilities. (Director Robin) Phillips set Shakespeare's black comedy
in a Vienna with the dwindliing allure of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
The sensual decadence contained the seeds of Nazism, but had a perfectly
controlled pitch and tenor."

See pages 266-268 for more.

Paul Swanson

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