The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0036 Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Date: Thursday, 15 Jan 2009 09:17:18 -0600
Subject: 20.0027 Real Skull Used for RSC's 'Hamlet'
Comment: RE: SHK 20.0027 Real Skull Used for RSC's 'Hamlet'
I have to confess that I am touchy enough that it would disturb me that
an actual skull was being used for Yorick. Perhaps not as much as the
use of an actual corpse for the body of Ophelia would, but something
On a related matter, Larry Weiss comments: "I would wager a fair amount
that the casualty list Henry reads after the battle of Agincourt is
almost always in the paper. Why bother to memorize that if one can
actually read it?"
Opinions and practices differ, but I find actual text distracting on
stage if I have to read it. Reading aloud is something I do a great deal
of in the work I get paid for, and I don't like to get dragged back into
that ("Oh, God, he's reading another one of his favorite quotes again.
What page are we on?") when I have to maintain a character. (At the
opening of Much Ado, Leonato has to paraphrase from a letter announcing
the arrival of Don Pedro. I have no clue what's actually written on the
letter I hold in my hands, and I want none.)
On the other hand, a list of names might not be so distracting and it
would be tedious to memorize. And, finally, there'd be little or no
"character" involved to develop -- or lose.
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