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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: Old Adam in AYL
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1362  Thursday, 3 July 2003

[1]     From:   Sherri Fillingham <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 15:28:24 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1357 Old Adam in AYL

[2]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 21:02:08 GMT0BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1357 Old Adam in AYL


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sherri Fillingham <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 15:28:24 EDT
Subject: 14.1357 Old Adam in AYL
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1357 Old Adam in AYL

In the production the RSC did at the Kennedy Center, Old Adam dies just
before the curtain at the interval.

Hope this helps.

Sherri Fillingham

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Jul 2003 21:02:08 GMT0BST
Subject: 14.1357 Old Adam in AYL
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1357 Old Adam in AYL

One production which did so was Stephen Pimlott's 1996 RSC main-stage
production.  Robert Smallwood writes:

'Steven Pimlott's version . . . goes down in theatre history as the
first Stratford Arden to sacrifice a victim to its wintry harshness.
Carried in by Orlando after his collapse in the most hostile of several
snowstorms to hit that year's Arden . . . Adam lay wrapped in blankets
at the end of the ducal table with attentive foresters trying in vain to
feed and revive him.  At the end of the song the Duke walked over to
Adam, utterly failing to notice how critical was his condition.
"Support him by the arm" he said, and escorted Orlando, who was quite
unaware of his servant's state, from the stage.  As they strode off arm
in arm poor old Adam breathed his last, the first half of the comedy
ending (perhaps a little dubiously in terms of genre)  with his death -
providing a "big moment" for the interval, its downbeat quality to be
balanced by the upbeat of the ending of the second half.  During that
second half there was a huge mound of earth, with daffodils strewn over
it, upstage centre.  No one ever behaved as if it was anyone's grave (it
was big enough, indeed, to have contained a dead horse or two), but as
Silvius and Touchstone, Ganymede and Orlando, ran round and over it, it
was difficult not to think of Adam lying at peace below.  Stephen
Pimlott is on record as saying that the notion of its being Adam's grave
was an unlooked-for, but not unwelcome, addition to his idea that it
should suggest an ancient and sacred place in the forest'.  (Robert
Smallwood, As You Like It, Shakespeare at Stratford Series, Arden: 2003
p. 69)

David Lindley
Professor of Renaissance Literature
University of Leeds

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