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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Productions at New Globe
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1067  Thursday, 18 April 2002

[1]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Thursday, April 18, 2002
        Subj:   Re: Productions at New Globe

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002 08:46:41 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe

[3]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002 12:03:49 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Thursday, April 18, 2002
Subject:        Re: Productions at New Globe

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

I made a mistake yesterday in formatting David Lindley contribution.
Here is how it should have read.

From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002 15:06:30 GMT0BST
Subject: 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe

>I agree with Karen that the Caliban-groundlings by-play was fun,
>but was it Shakespeare?  And is it consistent with the character?

I saw the production too.  But I'm a bit puzzled by this question - the
words were all Shakespeare's, and that's about all one can say.  All
performances have to do something with the Stephano-Trinculo-Caliban
scenes; they clearly demand that comic business be invented.  What this
production did, of course, was by its choice of business to minimise any
sense of Caliban as oppressed, and to diminish the potential malevolence
of his exploitation by Stephano in particular.  It's a performance
choice that doesn't necessarily please everyone - but does make one
think about the potential complexity of these scenes which are almost
always passed over lightly in critical commentary on the play.

I agree that

>Redgrave was weak, but I didn't find her portrayal gimmicky, just flat.
>She played the part sufficiently androgynously to make me believe she
>was male.

It was just about the most disengaged Prospero I've ever seen; it seemed
as if this normally very thoughtful and politically committed actress
had decided to give her brain a rest.

I thought the most interesting bit of this production (I agree, one not
high on anyone's list of great Tempests) was the treatment of Antonio
and Sebastian.  The emphasis was upon the effort Antonio had to make to
get a very dim Sebastian to see the point he was making as he tried to
get him to murder his brother.  Again, playing the second half of 2.1
for laughs might not be to many people's tastes - but then hardly any
performance of the scene succeeds, however it is played.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002 08:46:41 -0700
Subject: 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe

Thank you David and Karen for bringing a bit of content to this
discussion.  I nearly gagged when I read the post that got it going, a
mere list of Globe productions in order of favor.  It had no content
that could be meaningful to anyone but the man who posted it.  There
were no substantial reasons why the productions were so ranked.  The two
of you have helped me understand some things about this *Tempest* that I
would not otherwise know.  I hope future contributions will follow your
model so everyone may be better informed.

Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002 12:03:49 -0400
Subject: 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1058 Re: Productions at New Globe

When I asked whether the comic by-play was consistent with the character
of Caliban I was definitely not suggesting that the portrayal should
have been more in line with the current p.c. interpretation of the
role.  Rather, that making Caliban a bon vivant was not consistent with
the character's savagery, whether one regards it as noble savagery or
just plain savagery.

And, as for David Lindley's comment that

>the words were
>all Shakespeare's, and that's about all one can say.

I can only say that my recollection is that a number of words not
written by WS were interpolated for laughs when I saw it.

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