Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: Request for Opinions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1503  Thursday, 24 July 2003

[1]     From:   Stuart Manger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Jul 2003 17:00:40 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Jul 2003 23:20:49 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions

[3]     From:   Kathy Dent <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 24 Jul 2003 13:30:31 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Jul 2003 17:00:40 +0100
Subject: 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions

Sorry, but if you come to the Globe at the height of the GCSE / AS / A2
exam preparation season, or on the mandatory legacy trip to London
season, I fear that the general behaviour in the Pit is absolutely
appalling, and very, very distracting to anyone intent upon more than a
tick box approach to London sights.  'Back pack thugs' are ubiquitous
and aggressively territorial, and are pretty ruthless in shouldering
anyone else out of the way.

I took a relatively young and few in number group to Merchant of Venice
a few years ago, and they found themselves elbowed aside, and eventually
watching exclusively from the side of the stage, and, dare I say it, the
major places at the front were colonised by large Australians and
Americans, who, as far as one could tell, did not understand very much
beyond the visual humour, and were incapable of much more than ignorant
dumb show and noise. I was genuinely shocked. I really had NOT expected
this at all - my kids were pretty negative about the whole experience,
and I lost a lot of hard-worked-for ground with them and some
credibility in trying to make them feel positive about live Shakespeare.

Maybe it is closer to Shakespeare's day than we think?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Jul 2003 23:20:49 +0100
Subject: 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions

Graham Hall is a snob.  Nothing more.  The Globe on the Southbank is my
favourite place in London.  I feel happy in there.  It's not exactly the
hallowed timbers of old but it's some idea of what real theatre is
really all about.  That stage is vast (I was lucky enough to stand on it
once) and has unflattering ambient lighting.  Actors have to act when
they come through those wings and you know it when they do and you know
it when they don't.  And yes, Graham, there are all sorts of unreliables
in there - and yes, it is a tourist attraction - but sometime, somewhere
deep in the minds of almost every tourist bonehead in earshot they hear
something of the glitter and the glory of that wonderful language.  At
least I hope so.

SAM SMALL

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathy Dent <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 24 Jul 2003 13:30:31 +0100
Subject: 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1491 Re: Request for Opinions

Graham Hall writes,

>thereby reflecting the short-sighted (!) loutish attitude of many of the
>Pit transitees whose consistency parallels their baggage and which
>diminishes in inverse ratio to the amount stage frontage ground they
>invade and fiercely occupy. If these dolts would move around more within
>a small remove from "their" stage edge territory not only would they
>gain a better perspective of events but would permit the increased
>enjoyment of the four fifths of the others who have severe difficulty
>peering through their static bulk and avoiding stumbling over their
>ludicrous "essential" multiple accoutrements.

I'm afraid I have also been irritated by the proximity of the plebs in
the yard at the Globe, but I have suppressed my intolerance and
attributed it to my own snobbishness in the presence of the High Culture
that is Shakespeare. Of course "foreigners" whose notion of personal
space is different to my own British one can also be wildly distracting
(why do they have to stand so CLOSE?).

But surely this alienating effect at the Globe is partly what demarcates
it as a different theatrical environment from other theatres where we
are allocated our own piece of space and can sit in the relative
isolation and privacy of the darkened auditorium.  At the Globe, the
fact that your fellow spectators are just as much "in your face" as the
performers is surely suggestive of the original conditions of the
Renaissance outdoor theatres.  The audience at the Globe is far more
insistently PRESENT than at most other theatres and this is one of the
things that makes it such a fascinating illumination of the Renaissance
convention of audience address.

Perhaps Graham Hall should exercise his right to go and watch
Shakespeare elsewhere.  I recommend the RSC's current production of
Coriolanus at the Old Vic, where the actors keep looking out into the
auditorium in what seems to be a vague attempt to address an entirely
abstract idea of an audience.  A more uncomfortable attempt to negotiate
the performers' relationship with the audience would be hard to find.

For my taste, the unruly and ill-mannered at the Globe are a vital
factor in making the players really work for our applause -- and the
unrestrained cheering at the last performance of Richard2 that I saw was
proof that both actors and audience had earned their pleasures.

Kathy Dent

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.