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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: November ::
The Danish Play
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2252  Monday, 11 November 2002

From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Thursday, 07 Nov 2002 22:44:06 -0600
Subject:        The Danish Play

A propos of the thread about disasters in productions of <Macbeth>:

I remember having read that John Barrymore, who was always immersed in
his roles, ran a Laertes through in the fifth act of <Hamlet>. But no
one ever retailed that story and added that "the Danish Play is a
dangerously unlucky play".  They commented instead about Barrymore's
hyperbolic drinking and/or his emotional involvement.

Most productions of most plays are somewhat unlucky.  I was A.D. almost
30 yrs ago of a production of <Measure for Measure> at a minor
Shakespeare festival in the U.S. when the actor who was to play
Barnadine fell backstage during performance and broke his leg.  I had to
choose among the eager male cast members who wanted the role.  I chose
the one with the most professional experience and then ran lines with
him for a few minutes backstage and he put on the costume of B. and came
out right on cue as a very funny Barnadine.

Cheers,
JWV

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