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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0604  Friday, 28 March 2003

[1]     From:   Tom Dale Keever <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 10:48:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 12:47:55 -0400
        Subj:   Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters

[3]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 12:54:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters

[4]     From:   John Mahon <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 17:43:26 -0500
        Subj:   RE: God Save the Queen in British Theaters


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Dale Keever <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 10:48:05 -0500
Subject:        Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters

Thanks to Graham Hall for his entertaining history of the anthem as a
theatrical institution.

His note on its use in cinema:

>The cinema produced a
>little film of Elizabeth II with the first few bars as
>accompaniment
>post 1953. This was shown after the final film although by that
>time few
>people actually sang but just stood up (and a significant number
>barged
>their way out to catch the pubs before they closed).

reminded me of Ray Bradbury's delightful story "The Anthem Sprinters,"
about Irish cinema goers who raced the the pubs to avoid having to hear
the hated anthem.  He later adapted it into a play which was televised,
so we come back again to the theater.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 12:47:55 -0400
Subject:        Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters

Graham Hall mentions that

>The cinema produced a
>little film of Elizabeth II with the first few bars as accompaniment
>post 1953. This was shown after the final film although by that time few
>people actually sang but just stood up (and a significant number barged
>their way out to catch the pubs before they closed).

Is this still the practice at the end of the broadcast day on
television, say at two or three in the morning?  Around here, of course,
it's 'O Canada' with clips of Canada geese, waterfalls, smiling
children, that sort of thing.

Yrs,
Sean.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 12:54:23 -0500
Subject:        Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters

Graham Hall is right. There is no English national anthem. In fact,
until a few years ago, most English people were not sure what the
English flag looked like. And there is still no English parliament.

T. Hawkes

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Mahon <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Mar 2003 17:43:26 -0500
Subject:        RE: God Save the Queen in British Theaters

Graham Hall comments that "Many Britons still rise in concert halls
during part of Handel's Messiah - a practice initiated by a Hanoverian
king!"  People in concert halls around the world rise for the singing of
the "Hallelujah" Chorus in Handel's "Messiah."  George II was apparently
the first audience-member to react to the chorus in this way;  whatever
his motives may have been (some have suggested, rather uncharitably,
that he might have been dozing off and the booming sound of the chorus
stirred him to jump out of his seat), I believe most people now rise for
a variety of motives, including respect for tradition, admiration for
this extraordinary oratorio at the conclusion of its second section
(with only one shorter section remaining), appreciation of the singers
and orchestra for a fine performance, and expression of assent to the
chorus's celebration of God's power to transform "the kingdom of this
world" into the "kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ--and he shall
reign forever and ever," to quote Charles Jennens's lyrics for Handel's
music.

Peace,
John Mahon

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