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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: June ::
Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1494  Thursday, 6 June 2002

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Jun 2002 08:05:49 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC

[2]     From:   Jan Pick <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Jun 2002 16:41:02 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC

[3]     From:   Stuart Manger <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Jun 2002 19:57:15 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 05 Jun 2002 08:05:49 -0700
Subject: 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC

With apologies to all, and especially to Hardy for the extra work, I
seem to have mangled the title of the book I recommended yesterday.  The
correct title (I hope) is--*Rough Magic: Making Theatre at the Royal
Shakespeare Company.*

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jan Pick <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Jun 2002 16:41:02 +0100
Subject: 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC

Hawthorne didn't say the production was awful - he said he gave it all
he had got and that he was devastated at the criticism.  He was talking
about the attitudes and events surrounding the production.  Not perverse
at all.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Jun 2002 19:57:15 +0100
Subject: Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC
Comment:        SHK 13.1490 Re: Why Hawthorne Hated the RSC

I must take issue with Martin Steward's strictures on Nigel Hawthorne's
'whinings'.

There is no lonelier place for an actor than at the centre of a show in
which he has no confidence. And for a Lear to be in that position is
virtually untenable. The company interpreters in this case seem to have
reneged on their role, the production staff were conspicuous by their
absence, in Japan the guy is 12,000 miles from home base, and marooned
in a company that had imposed some unerringly incongruous attitudes on
Shakespeare - or at least the line taken by the director - and proceeded
to make true teamwork and collective identity particularly difficult.

Pro actors feel that the thing on stage has the effect of pulling
threads together, they always hope against hope that their
professionalism, savvy, and the magic of the text, the challenge of
performance itself, the evolution of both rehearsal and performance will
fuse disparate elements, even if the initial ideas seem barmy - as
Hawthorne clearly pointed out. However, if ab initio there is so
powerful a vacuum that a relatively junior actress can suggest that she
is not going to 'be subservient' in her attitude to Lear, then someone
like Hawthorne must have felt the bottom dropping out of the play in
which he has to be the epicentre- a play which surely is precisely about
hierarchies, imposed autocracies etc, and for her to refuse to
participate / collaborate in that would give the lead a nightmare. Yet
against all the odds, actors keep hoping.

BUT when the reviews appear and the team have NOT managed to pull
sufficiently together, or convince by their collective imagination nd or
'rough magic

 

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