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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
Thunder
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1488  Monday, 9 August 2004

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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 >
        Date:   Monday, 26 Jul 2004 17:02:19 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1473 Thunder

[2]     From:   Sebastian Perry <
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 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jul 2004 17:05:20 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Thunder


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 26 Jul 2004 17:02:19 +0100
Subject: 15.1473 Thunder
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1473 Thunder

Bruce W. Richman <
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 >writes,

 >The cannon-ball-down-the-trough citations are surely correct, and
 >represent some admirable scholarship by those who provided them. I have
 >read, but as an apparently poorer scholar cannot provide a citation,
 >that thunder was also simulated in the theater by grasping a thin sheet
 >of tin at one end and snapping the wrist to create a ripple through the
 >sheet that counterfeited the sound of thunder quite well.

I've come-on both the tin sheet theory and the
cannonballs-down-the-trough theory.

But in the mid-sixties, I got taken on a tour by Duncan McCrea backstage
of the Citizens Theatre (Glasgow) and they still had a cannonball-run.

I don't think they'd used it since the forties, but it was still there.

So thunder-effects, certainly in Glasgow in the forties (think Bridie)
were still used.

So it's not *such* history.

Or are the forties history?

Really, before my time, but Duncan was there.

The Sleeping Clergyman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sebastian Perry <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jul 2004 17:05:20 +0100
Subject:        Re: Thunder

Many thanks to those who responded to my query about thunder. I am a
little surprised, however, that the explanations given so far seem to
rest on a single Jonson quotation and an Italian analogue.
Rereading Leslie Thomson's article (apologies for the previous
misgendering -- I must have been thinking of Leslie Hotson), I notice
that she says the following:

"While some theatres might have had a means of creating the sound of
thunder by a 'roul'd bullet'. as Jonson implies [...], there is no
evidence before the eighteenth century of a 'thunder run' in which
cannon balls were rolled down a wooden trough in the heavens." (14)

Is there really no better documentary or archeological evidence on this
subject?

And a related question -- how is the effect achieved at the present-day
Globe?

Thanks,
Seb Perry

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