The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0832 Friday, 22 September 2006
Date: Friday, 22 Sep 2006 12:18:12 +0200
Subject: Taking Shakespeare Off the Page
Being new to the SHAKSPER list and lacking experience, I realise now
that I should have started a thread to tell my story, judging from the
many questions I get privately, plus the questions in the list.
So, instead of answering quick mails and giving answers scattered all
over, I beg the indulgence of the court for this once, and I start again.
In my contribution (17.0821 RSC Appeal to Educators, Sept. 20th), I
relate the experience which is now coming to completion about
Shakespeare, and which I thought pertinent to the discussion on how to
avoid "spoiling" Shakespeare for students (and former students).
Two years ago, I was asked by a group of people who live in a rather
remote valley of French Switzerland, the Joux Valley, to help them put
up a show around Shakespeare. They wanted to bring Shakespeare to the
people of their valley: they are peasants, shepherds, watchmakers, civil
servants in their small villages, primary teachers, etc, people
generally speaking who don't dwell in literature, as a rule. The valley
is covered in snow most of the winter, and relatively isolated, and
these people had been putting up shows for several years. They had
tackled Tchekov, Brecht, Moli