2010

Red Bull: Duchess of Malfi

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0108  Thursday, 11 March 2010

From:          Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:          Thursday, March 11, 2010    
Subject:       Red Bull: Duchess of Malfi 

http://theater.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/theater/reviews/09duchess.html?scp=1&sq=malfi&st=cse

March 9, 2010
'THE DUCHESS OF MALFI': Sometimes Brothers Can Be Too Protective of a Sister
By JASON ZINOMAN
New York Times 

When it comes to Renaissance-era tales of forbidden love set in Italy, Juliet had it easy.

Her relatives might not have been terribly supportive of her choice in men, but at least they didn't send killers and spies her way. Nor were they so upset that she wanted to marry beneath her station that they tossed her in prison. The title character in John Webster's "Duchess of Malfi" paid dearly for not heeding the warnings of her bullying brothers Ferdinand (Gareth Saxe) and Cardinal (Patrick Page), and the resulting bloodbath is so vastly out of proportion that it makes you wonder why this 17th-century drama hasn't been turned into a feminist exploitation movie.

The Duchess could be played as a caged bird with reined-in passions, but in the muddled production by the Red Bull Theater, Christina Rouner brings an imperial coolness to the boiling drama. "The misery of us that are born great!" she says with notes of entitlement and self-pity. "We are forced to woo because none dare woo us."

This messy feast of a play blends genres, hints at enough political, religious and sexual themes to suggest all kinds of modernizing possibilities and incorporates some truly preposterous twists. While Jesse Berger's sleek staging showcases a capable cast with a sure sense of diction, the production remains a bit undercooked. The style is a kind of wishy-washy modern minimalism.

Jared B. Leese's costumes are contemporary but sometimes off point (a white jacket seems from the 1980s), Beowulf Boritt's set design is modest and elegant and the stage pictures clean. There were several technical glitches on the night I attended, but the main problem with the show was not its errors so much as a lack of a clear focus.

The second act includes appearances of a werewolf and a severed limb - prodigious, sensational macabre excesses that are neither subtly psychological nor laughably over-the-top. (For a much better dead hand, see "A Behanding in Spokane.") The performances, besides the precise work of Ms. Rouner, are well-spoken but broad and devoid of eccentricity.

The Red Bull should be given credit for avoiding cheap gimmicks, but there's a lack of a point of view that, because the play itself is so absurd, allows the flamboyance of the violence to become unhinged from its impact, turning what could be brutal tragedy into occasionally unintentional comedy. With more time the show could gain its footing, but for now it appears in the process of being explored rather than already discovered.

"The Duchess of Malfi" runs through March 28 at the Theater at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th Street, Manhattan; (212) 352-3101; redbulltheater.com.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0109  Thursday, 11 March 2010

[1]  From:      Jim Harner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      March 5, 2010 9:00:59 PM EST
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets

[2]  From:      Jim Harner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      March 5, 2010 9:00:59 PM EST
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets 

[3]  From:      Stephen Foley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      March 7, 2010 11:39:19 AM EST
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Jim Harner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         March 5, 2010 9:00:59 PM EST
Subject: 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets

>Does anyone know whether any of Shakespeare's sonnets has
>been translated into Swahili? A former graduate student
>working with a group of West Africans would like to know
>but preliminary research hasn't yielded any results.

Neither the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online nor Index Translationum includes any.

Jim Harner

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         March 6, 2010 9:26:33 AM EST
Subject: 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Swahili isn't spoken in West Africa.

John Briggs

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Stephen Foley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         March 7, 2010 11:39:19 AM EST
Subject: 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0097  Swahili Translations of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Julius Nyerere of Tanzania produced two Swahili translations: Julius Kaisari (Julius Caesar) and Mabepari wa Venisi (Merchant).) They were both published by Oxford University Press.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

 

Query: Gloucester's [Cornwall's] Servant

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0111  Thursday, 11 March 2010

From:         David Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         March 7, 2010 3:01:53 PM EST
Subject: 21.0101 Query: Gloucester's [Cornwall's] Servant
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0101 Query: Gloucester's [Cornwall's] Servant

The servant's being Cornwall's son would be an important piece of information, which Shakespeare would not introduce with one passing word. To understand the meaning of "bred" here a better analogy would be with horses or dogs.

Cornwall is very high royalty. He would not make his son his servant.

Finally, the rebellion of this lifelong servant against Cornwall is an awesome transgression, which emphasizes the corresponding horror of Cornwall's outrage to morality. Making the servant his son, even if it were possible, would detract from this emphasis.

Best wishes,
David Bishop

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

 

Tempest - Request for Advice

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0110  Thursday, 11 March 2010

From:         Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         March 6, 2010 5:46:08 AM EST
Subject: 21.0100  Tempest - Request for Advice
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0100  Tempest - Request for Advice

>This is an unusual request, I hope not outside the spectrum of
>this list. Some of you followed our year-long weekly blog on
>the development of our puppet staging of THE TEMPEST. We've
>now published a 107-minute DVD of the full production. You can
>see a ten-minute sampler on our website at
>http://www.independenteye.org/media.html .
>
>I'm assuming it's not quite kosher to promote sale items on this
>site, but I'm asking for some guidance, as you're probably the
>largest available concentration of kindred spirits in Shakespeare.
>Can you offer any advice on the best means of reaching teachers or
>other interested souls with information about this DVD? Websites,
>print or on-line journals, distributors that you look to for
>Shakespeare-related materials? Years ago, we did some distribution
>of a video of our puppet MACBETH through Tanya Gough's agency, but
>that no longer exists, and I wonder if there's anything similar?
>
>Any thoughts you might offer would be most appreciated -- can reply
>privately to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if it's not of broad interest
>to the list. I'm intensely proud of this piece, feel it's an
>absolutely unique resource, want to get it out there, but my Ph.D.
>didn't cover the art of promoting DVDs.

I can't speak for anyone else on the list, but such advice would be of huge interest to me. If anyone does offer such advice off-list I will be very appreciative if you will please be so kind to cc me.

Thank you,
Bob Projansky

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

 

Musings on the Arden Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0112  Thursday, 11 March 2010

From:         Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         March 11, 2010 10:08:22 AM EST
Subject: 21.0073 Musings on the Arden Shakespeare
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0073 Musings on the Arden Shakespeare

A propos to this topic, various have questioned the two-volume Arden 3 approach to Hamlet on the grounds that the second volume--F1 and Q1--would be expensive, unavailable, unseen, undercutting the rationale for the whole approach. 

The paperback is now "available" for $22, which isn't bad. But:

I ordered a copy of that volume from Amazon for my daughter on February 7. Amazon hoped to deliver it between February 19 and March 1. (The Q2 volume was available immediately, of course.)

On Feb. 26 I received a notice saying: "we are unable to ship the item(s) as soon as we expected...Estimated arrival date: March 09 2010 - March 12 2010."

Then I received another today: "we are unable to ship the item(s) as soon as we expected...Estimated arrival date: March 19 2010 - March 24 2010

A month and a half delay. 

Understand: it is extremely easy and inexpensive for a publisher to make titles immediately available on Amazon, using a variety of means.

Meanwhile, I was in the U Chicago Co-op bookstore the other day--one of the best-stocked academic bookstores I know--and they didn't have a copy of this volume.

Having been in the book publishing business for 25 years, I really have to question the competence of a publishing operation that in this day and age can't make its books available through the 1) most important and 2) most perfectly targeted outlets.

Maybe the publisher only cares about course-adoption driven sales through college bookstores. Fine. But I advise any profs thinking of adopting it to make sure the bookstore places your order well in advance.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

 

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