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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: The Real Beale
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0587  Thursday, 27 March 2003

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 Mar 2003 17:21:18 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale

[2]     From:   William Sutton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Mar 2003 05:03:04 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale

[3]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 Mar 2003 08:59:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Monday, 24 Mar 2003 17:21:18 -0000
Subject: 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale

><sigh>  Thomas Larque has spluttered on at obsessive length about an
>earlier post of mine which he has either misremembered or never bothered
>to read carefully.  Were he to do so, he would discover that (a) I
>quoted some of my good reviews (in response to his quotation of a
>negative one) to prove that my critical stringency cannot be seen as the
>projected bitterness of an actor who has never received good reviews of
>his own (that is what I meant by "establishing my bona fides");

If Charles Weinstein had read my original post, in which his bad review
was mentioned, with the care that he demands that I read his response,
he would have seen that I at no stage suggested that Weinstein was
embittered by receiving nothing but bad reviews, but merely that he had
received at least one bad review for what (had it been performed by any
other actor) Weinstein would gleefully be telling us was a "failed"
production starring a "mediocre" actor.  Weinstein's willingness to take
part in "failed" productions in which he knows himself to be miscast
(which he admitted in his response) and in which (according to at least
one reviewer - and remember that Weinstein routinely privileges bad
reviews over good reviews when criticising actors other than himself) he
performed badly suggests a certain amount of hypocrisy in his endless
whining on about "mediocre" actors in "bad" productions, which he tells
us makes him furiously angry (except, apparently, when he is being paid
to perform in these productions as that "mediocre" actor, himself).

If Mr. Weinstein is truly angry at bad theatre, then why did he allow
himself to take part in a production in which he knew he was miscast?
Why did he agree to allow his audience to pay for his bad performance
(and he tells us that he has done this on many occasions, boasting that
he knows about bad theatre because he has taken part in so much of it)?
Similarly, why does Mr. Weinstein want us to believe that the "Real
Beale" is a bad actor because two reviewers dislike him, while trying to
tell us that the "Real Weinstein" is not embittered by bad reviews
because he has received half-a-dozen good ones (Apparently Weinstein
wants us to believe that he has a good relationship with reviewers or is
a good actor because he has received half-a-dozen good reviews.  Are we
to believe that Charles Weinstein has only ever had one bad review?  If
not, is Charles Weinstein unaware that actors can be embittered by bad
reviews even if they only receive a handful of them?  Why are two
reviews enough to prove Beale a bad actor, but a presumably equal or
larger number of bad reviews is not enough to prove the same about
Charles Weinstein? - double standards seem rather obviously to be at
play)

>and (b)
>that I apply the same standards to myself that I do to others, as why
>would I not?

Because you hate all Shakespeare films, and virtually all Shakespeare
stage productions, and are apparently rantingly contemptuous and angry
that these productions have ever been staged, or at least that they have
ever received academic or critical attention of any kind, let alone good
responses.  Given that you apparently loathe just about all well known
Shakespearean actors and most of the productions in which they appear,
you must either a) Think you are better than these actors or b) Not care
whether you perform badly in awful productions, despite the fact that
you admit to being furiously "angry" about "bad theatre" produced by
others.  Either way, I think it is reasonably obvious that you are not
applying the same standards to yourself as you are to the actors that
you routinely condemn on this list.

>By the way, although I am a professional actor and a veteran of some 25
>Shakespearean productions, my performing is a sideline and is not the
>way I earn my living.  I do it strictly for love.

I would personally say that it depends on the details, but I am sure
some people would question your "professional" acting status if you only
do it in your spare time for fun, rather than as a real job of work.

Thomas Larque.
"Shakespeare and His Critics"
http://shakespearean.org.uk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Sutton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Mar 2003 05:03:04 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale

Hi everyone,

My favourite quote on critics comes from sonnet 112:

'in so profound abysm I throw all care of other's voices,
that my adder's sense to critic and to flatterer stopped are...'

adder's were believed to be deaf.

Yours,
William S.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 24 Mar 2003 08:59:34 -0500
Subject: 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0575 Re: The Real Beale

Thomas Larque <
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 > writes,

>Of course [Bloom]'s reading also depends upon Gertrude's "He is fat and
>scant of breath" meaning "He is covered in sweat, and is out-of-breath
>because he has been exercising" rather than the alternative "My poor
>son!  He is overweight and finding this exercise rather difficult".  The
>former, it is true, is the most commonly accepted textual reading these
>days and sounds more heroic, but the latter is certainly not
>impossible.  There seems no reason why Laertes' reputation might not be
>a superficial one - based on his remarkable youth and fitness - while
>Hamlet (who has been "in continual practice") might be able to beat him
>by the use of sheer skill.

There are other matters than the fencing match -- the fight to reach the
ghost -- the escape attempt when being pursued for the death of Polonius
-- the fight with the pirates.

For what it's worth, though, in the New Jersey Renaissance Kingdom we
have some rather round people who can nevertheless perform amazing
athletic feats (standing backflips wearing 100 pounds of armor,
anyone?), and who are holy terrors with a sword.

Sean Lawrence <
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 > writes,

>Maybe if the competition was in gymnastics or long-distance running this
>would follow, but fencing needn't involve jumping around a whole lot.
>The very best fencers, like the foremost exemplars of any sport, are in
>very good shape, but there are quite decent fencers who are heavy or who
>smoke, but are good with a sword.

Indeed, until the recent kiss-me-quick style encouraged by electric
scoring, champion fencers were, more often than not, middle-aged.

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