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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: November ::
Re: Cuts in Performance
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2243  Monday, 11 November 2002

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Nov 2002 18:50:48 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2229 Re: Cuts in Performance

[2]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Friday, 08 Nov 2002 19:58:28 +0000
        Subj:   Cuts in Production


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Nov 2002 18:50:48 -0000
Subject: 13.2229 Re: Cuts in Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2229 Re: Cuts in Performance

"Other than Macbeth and Twelfth Night examples of performance changes
are less universally accepted and still in debate."

What about King Lear? Although the causes of the changes are in dispute,
surely no one doubts that the Folio text was never performed in its
entirety?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Friday, 08 Nov 2002 19:58:28 +0000
Subject:        Cuts in Production

Grates me the sum. Slashing the text is one thing but doing so to
accommodate some "innovation" gives pause for apoplexy.

A recent Macbeth given in Oxford was savagely cut (!) partly to
accommodate an extended start comprising a "Fayre" at which a variety of
contortionists, illusionists, fire-eaters, stilt-walkers, juggling
fiends etc gave their amateur turns. This culminated in the
"Palm-reader" prognosticating in place of the wierd sisters. More text
went to permit the introduction of the sponsor's cars treading the
boards. ["Is't far you drive? Well, yes, My Lord, given the urban
mileage of this model..." being implied if not actually performed]
Macbeth it wasn't, we thought as we passed under a hanged (on a
production (!) line hoist) Banquo and strolled past the latest marque on
our way to the bar at the interval.

A tediously extended but definitely mini production one might say.

The same fiddling went on with the Dane in a similar outrage last year.
At least we had a laugh though because the shiny German model whizzing
Claudius around Factory Elsinore stalled and Gertrude had to get out and
help bump start it.

Is it Shakespeare? When does it cease to be? Hardly new questions, of
course.

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