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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: The Real Beale
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0554  Thursday, 20 March 2003

[1]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 11:19:09 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale

[2]     From:   Ted Dykstra <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 13:49:08 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale

[3]     From:   Brian Willis <
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 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 11:35:37 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 11:19:09 -0500
Subject: 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale

Jan Pick <
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 > writes,

>There are too many safe actors around these
>days and that is why theatre is dying.  Tiny spaces for re-actors rather
>than big spaces for actors.  Too much film and tv work, too little
>theatre.

There is certainly much truth in this.  As an amateur actor with a
classical bent who sometimes works with pre-professional student actors,
I have noticed that I have had to un-teach them the delicatissima their
TV-oriented professors have lumbered them with.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Dykstra <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 13:49:08 EST
Subject: 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale

>When a bad review of Charles Weinstein's performance as Bottom was
>posted here, Weinstein responded with his scrapbook of positive reviews
>of his own performances, as though this cancelled the bad review out.

Any actor who holds up a good review of his or her performance as proof
of their excellence is an idiot. Ditto for those who gleefully hold up
bad reviews to the reverse end.

Ted Dykstra

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 11:35:37 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0541 Re: The Real Beale

I found all of the reviews for Beale's Hamlet for my dissertation so I
have an idea of the typical reactions to his performances. It seemed
that any critic who disliked the performance or the production picked on
the physical attributes of Beale, as if Hamlet should always be played
by a tall, skinny, blond-haired blue-eyed handsome actor. Any critic who
liked the performance focused rather on the issues of the play and how
John Caird handled them in the setting and how Beale spoke certain
lines.

Personally, the only time I thought about Beale's physical presence was
when he drew attention to Hamlet's lack of exercise. Quite poignant and
funny.  What is sad is a continuing focus on the physical and the
surface of a performer rather than the soul behind the words.

I don't think a prince needs to be played by a handsome actor. Some of
today's princes are hardly handsome. There is no beauty quotient
attached to nobility. Nor did Shakespeare clearly delineate a clown
(where Charles clearly thinks Beale should stay) as merely having comic
business. Actually, during much of the play, Hamlet indeed acts like a
fool. I think Jan Pick is right - dislike it? Stop complaining, stop
watching, and let someone who does enjoy it to do so.

And stop picking on the guy's physical appearance. It's so childish.

Brian Willis

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