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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: June ::
Re: Stop Your Mouth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1542  Friday, 21 June 2002

[1]     From:   Janet OKeefe <
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        Date:   Thursday, 20 Jun 2002 10:33:47 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1526 Re: Stop Your Mouth

[2]     From:   Phyllis Gorfain <
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        Date:   Thursday, 20 Jun 2002 11:52:58 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1526 Re: Stop Your Mouth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet OKeefe <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 Jun 2002 10:33:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1526 Re: Stop Your Mouth
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1526 Re: Stop Your Mouth

>Do you, Phyllis, or any one know about any production that convincingly
>does much with the problematic and dark side that continues at the end
>for so many readers?

At the Stratford Festival production a few years ago, during the ending
dance Beatrice and Benedick were seen to be visibly arguing.  As the
moved down stage you saw them pull each other's poems out and wave them
at each other.  It became clear that they were arguing over who was the
worse poet. The only words that were added were Beatrice's contemptuous
exclamation "Lady and baby!"

I thought it was a nice touch to defuse the ending, but perhaps a little
too much.  They added a similar bit of business to their production of
Shrew a year before where they showed Kate and Petruchio splitting up
the money they had just won from her relatives, as if the entire banquet
speech had been an elaborate con job.  I'm not sure how I feel about
either of these endings, but they didn't offend me as much as the
production of Love's Labours Lost I saw in San Antonio that added a dumb
show of the men accomplishing their tasks and being reunited with the
women at the end of the year.

Janet T. O'Keefe

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Gorfain <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 Jun 2002 11:52:58 -0700
Subject: 13.1526 Re: Stop Your Mouth
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1526 Re: Stop Your Mouth

Herb Weil asked:

>Do you, Phyllis, or any one know about any production that convincingly
>does much with the problematic and dark side that continues at the end
>for so many readers?

Just this morning, I reread another article by Michael Friedman (he is
doing very good work, I find, combining good performance history with
issues of editing) in which he cites an RSC production that ended with
this final tableau.

Friedman quotes Robert Smallwood reviewing an RSC production at
Stratford-upon-Avon (1988); Smallwood's review appeared in SHAKESPEARE
QUARTERLY 40 (1989).  So here's Friedman, quoting Smallwood, p. 84: "At
the end of the play, with Beatrice and Hero wearing black dresses for
their second attempt at a wedding scene, black petals or bits of black
confetti float down to the stage in what seems a macabre or ironic
comment on the hollowness of the relationships being presented. . . .
The production leaves one with the abiding image of Claudio and Hero
achieving uneasy reconciliation as the black confetti wafts down upon
their future." Friedman's article:  "The Editorial Recuperation of
Claudio," COMPARATIVE DRAMA 25.4 (1991-92): 369-90.

Thanks to Herb for the comments on my earlier question,
Phyllis Gorfain

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