The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0406 Friday, 15 October 2010
From: John W Kennedy <
Date: October 11, 2010 9:42:12 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0400 Shakespeare's Globe Final Performances of Season
Comment: Re: SHK 21.0400 Shakespeare's Globe Final Performances of Season
Hardy M. Cook <
>In this posting, I raised concerns I had with the staging/blocking
>of the Merry Wives of Windsor this season at Shakespeare's Globe:
>The only show that I was able to see this season was the Merry Wives,
>some of which I liked and some of which I had problems. My major
>objection was that the company seemed to be playing to the audience
>in front of them as if in a proscenium stage and not using the thrust
>stage as if it were similar to the modern theatre in the round. Thus,
>I found the performances somewhat static, sitting as I was to the far
>side of stage right. (This is what I get for not booking my tickets in
>advance and having to settle for choosing our four seats from among
six or eight seats that had not been sold.) In the best productions, I
>have seen at the Globe, the actors were constantly moving, using the
>thrust stage to its advantage and not as if they were in a proscenium.
>I missed this style in the Merry Wives I saw. Overall, I found the
>company to be one of the most consistently strong I have seem at
>Shakespeare's Globe, in many ways far superior to the uneven company
>I saw this summer in the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford.
>Does anyone have any thoughts about this issue in this production or
>about blocking on the Globe Theatre stage in general?
It is an oft-remarked problem at the New Globe, I'm afraid. Here in the States,
we've been using pseudo-Elizabethan stages of one sort or another for about a
century, whereas my British theatre books all seem to refer to thrust and in-
the-round stages, even when indoors, as exotic American imports. So what is
"only natural" to Americans with substantial Shakespearean experience, both
actors and auditors, is still somewhat alien to their British counterparts.
Speaking for myself, the two styles can feel quite different in the execution.
The chief stated justification for building the New Globe, you may recall, was
exploration of performance practices.
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