The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0031 Wednesday, 2 February 2011
From: Robert Shaughnessy <
Date: January 28, 2011 4:20:05 AM EST
Subject: 22.0024 Corpsing?
Comment: RE: SHK 22.0024 Corpsing?
>Does anyone know of any references in early modern drama or associated
>materials to the phenomenon now known as "corpsing" where an actor becomes
>seized by laughter in the middle of a performance? There are obvious places
>for playing games of this kind in Shakespeare, when Malvolio opens his letter
>and when Falstaff abuses "the gunpowder Percy" for instance, but specific
>accounts are hard to come by.
It doesn't address early modern performance directly (though does refer to Rabelais), but you may be
interested in Nick Ridout's astute, eloquent, and very funny, discussion of this phenomenon in his Stage
Fright, Animals, and other Theatrical Problems (CUP, 2006).
Drama and Theatre Studies
School of Arts
University of Kent
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