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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: September ::
The Globes Audience in the Future
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1677  Wednesday, 8 September 2004

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Sep 2004 13:33:23 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1669 Is the Globe the wrong way round?

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 07 Sep 2004 10:35:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1669 The Globes Audience in the Future

[3]     From:   Thomas M. Lahey <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Sep 2004 11:15:09 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1656 The Globes Audience in the Future


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 Sep 2004 13:33:23 +0100
Subject: 15.1669 Is the Globe the wrong way round?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1669 Is the Globe the wrong way round?

John Reed wrote:

 >I saw an afternoon performance and couldn't
  help
 >noticing the sun, which was in the south, shone on the audience, leaving
 >the actors and the stage and the background, in shadow.  I think they
 >have it turned the wrong way.

Kathy Dent replied:

 >No, it's crucial that the actors have a very good view of the audience -
 >it's this that makes the Globe different from most other theatres and
 >it's this that triggers the actor/audience interaction.  Don't forget
 >that, what with English weather and the playhouses often being closed
 >due to plague in the summer months, too much sun would not have been a
 >problem very often at the original Globe!!

I suspect John Reed is right, and the new Globe *has* been built the
wrong way round - contrary to popular myth, London is a pretty sunny
place, and being in the Globe yard in full sun is not fun.  Giving the
actors a view of the audience would not have been a USP when the first
one was built - the owners' priority would have been to make their
audience as comfortable as possible.

I know there is a lot of debate about the accuracy of the various
etchings of the Globe in situ, but none of them have the stage facing
the river, as it does at the new Globe.

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Tuesday, 07 Sep 2004 10:35:47 -0400
Subject: 15.1669 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1669 The Globes Audience in the Future

Kathy Dent <
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 >

 >No, it's crucial that the actors have a very good view of the audience -
 >it's this that makes the Globe different from most other theatres and
 >it's this that triggers the actor/audience interaction.  Don't forget
 >that, what with English weather and the playhouses often being closed
 >due to plague in the summer months, too much sun would not have been a
 >problem very often at the original Globe!!

And let me add, as someone who has played on a Globe-like stage in the
summer, that if it faces south, the sun not only gets in the actors'
eyes, but has a tendency to broil them.

 >May I point you to the work of Robert Weimann?  He has based much of his
 >theory about Shakespearean drama on the actor/audience relationship;
 >where the convention of the actors directly addressing the audience
 >springs from; and how greatly an understanding of Renaissance drama is
 >transformed by an awareness that the actors often occupy a transitional
 >space that lies between the imaginary world of the play and the 'real'
 >world of the playhouse.  The skill of playing with the approaching and
 >receding distance between themselves and the audience is what some
 >modern actors struggle with at the Globe.

As I have said from time to time, US Shakespeareans are far more used to
this sort of thing.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas M. Lahey <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 Sep 2004 11:15:09 -0700
Subject: 15.1656 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1656 The Globes Audience in the Future

1)  To each his own; makes the world go around.

2)  The idea that the theater "compares unfavorably with movies" doesn't
work for me.  I saw Hamlet (London, Mark Rylance, thank you, thank you,
...) & left the theater about 3 to 4 feet (more than a meter) off the
ground. The performance was so enthralling that I made a life commitment
(won't fulfill it) to see the RSC do all Shakespeare's plays.  I have
seen the RSC do a Comedy of Errors that was worth it, & a Lear that wasn't.

I've never seen a movie Hamlet that would inspire me to see all the
movie verisons of Shakespeare's plays.

I also prefer concerts to CDs.

Stay healthy,
Tom

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