The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1669  Tuesday, 7 September 2004

From:           Kathy Dent <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 06 Sep 2004 18:03:27 +0100
Subject: 15.1656 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1656 The Globes Audience in the Future

John Reed writes:

 >I foolishly purchased expensive seats

John, you were ill-advised.  ALWAYS stand in the yard at the Globe.

 >I saw an afternoon performance and couldn't
 >noticing the sun, which was in the south, shone on the audience, leaving
 >the actors and the stage and the background, in shadow.  I think they
 >have it turned the wrong way.

No, it's crucial that the actors have a very good view of the audience -
it's this that makes the Globe different from most other theatres and
it's this that triggers the actor/audience interaction.  Don't forget
that, what with English weather and the playhouses often being closed
due to plague in the summer months, too much sun would not have been a
problem very often at the original Globe!!

 >I can't help feeling that were the characters to acknowledge the
 >audience that would go far towards maximizing the feeling of aliveness.

May I point you to the work of Robert Weimann?  He has based much of his
theory about Shakespearean drama on the actor/audience relationship;
where the convention of the actors directly addressing the audience
springs from; and how greatly an understanding of Renaissance drama is
transformed by an awareness that the actors often occupy a transitional
space that lies between the imaginary world of the play and the 'real'
world of the playhouse.  The skill of playing with the approaching and
receding distance between themselves and the audience is what some
modern actors struggle with at the Globe.

Kathy Dent

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