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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: July ::
Pacino as Shylock in the Park
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0326  Wednesday, 28 July 2010

From:         Gabriel Egan <
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Date:         July 26, 2010 1:25:48 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0317  Pacino as Shylock in the Park
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0317  Pacino as Shylock in the Park

John Drakakis writes of the possibility that Shylock and Morocco were doubled:

>We know that the Jew habitually wears a
>'gaberdine' (a loose fitting robe that could
>easily cover the change of costume that
>would be required if the actor did double as
>Morocco, but the one thing that he would have
>difficulty in changing quickly was his
>facial colour).

This theatrical difficulty appears to have been actively addressed within a couple 
of decades of the play's first performance. The apothecary John Rumler is identified 
in Ben Jonson's epilogue to The Gypsies Metamorphosed (1621) as the supplier of a 
substance that enabled a quick-change ("fetched off with water and a ball") from 
blackface to whiteface. The matter is handled in detail in Andrea R. Stevens 
"'Assisted by a barber': The court apothecary, special effects, and The Gypsies 
Metamorphosed" Theatre Notebook 61 (2007): 2-11.

Gabriel Egan


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