The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2225 Friday, 8 November 2002
Date: Thursday, 7 Nov 2002 08:07:12 -0800
Subject: Finis for Thomas of Woodstock
In the SHAKSPER archives I ran across a report by Jim Slager on the
Carmel (Calif.) Shakespeare's 2001 production of a Edward III/Thomas of
Woodstock/Richard II cycle. I had asked what sort of conclusion the
anonymous _Thomas of Woodstock_ had, because the MS (ca. 1592) is
missing at least a page at the end of Act V, Sc. 6, where the play is
nearing a finale of some kind, but I missed Mr. Slager's report saying
Carmel's version had one.
_Woodstock_ is inferior stuff but of interest to those, like me, who
like Shakespeare's chronicle plays. Manchester UP has just published a
new edition of the play, _Thomas of Woodstock, or, Richard the Second,
Part One_, edited by Peter Corbin and Douglas Sedge, in the Revels
Series. "Part One" is, I believe, from J.O. Halliwell Phillips' 1870
speculation that _Woodstock_ preceded Shakespeare's play.
I have just found a modern conclusion, entitled Finis, at the website of
the Hampshire Shakespeare Company (of Massachusetts), which ran a
contest in 1999 to avoid mounting a play that dribbled away with three
dots. As the prize was $200, the contest no doubt aroused the interest
of impoverished antiquarians around Amherst. The winner was a local
lyricist, Frederick Carrigg. Not counting stage directions, the Finis
is an additional 68 lines of dialogue. HSC has the entire _Woodstock_
plus Finis at http://www.hampshireshakespeare.org/notes/TOWmain.html.
HSC claims that their production was the 20th century world premiere.
The Carmel Shakespeare website, http://www.pacrep.org/, is unavailable,
but I suspect they used the same Finis for their 2001 production as good
bad stuff is hard to do (as the "Jenkins Diary" shows). Right now the
British Library search engine is cranky, so I can't confirm the details
of the _Woodstock_ MS there.
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