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Sounding The House of Fame in Troilus and Cressida
Helen Barr

breathing and wild cheering accompanied the fight.63 At the slaughter of Hector (Davies (1985)), Thersites let out a high-pitched scream, while, in 1963, a production by the Birmingham Repertory Reverberate Troy 213 Theatre sounded to the noise of wrenches and chains as Achilles led a gang of leather-jacketed motorbike thugs. In Canada in 1987, one of the Myrmidons was heard to utter ‘vroom vroom’ as they moved in for the kill.64 Performance history reveals that these pugilistic sound effects were heard alongside a cacophony of incidental noise: Patroclus hitting

in Transporting Chaucer
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Transporting Chaucer
Helen Barr

narrator refuses to anchor the free-floating tidings of Troy with the authority of a Proper Name. The figure of Antenor in Troilus is his opposite: a name without a voice. On stage, but mute, Antenor is a silent physical reminder of the fall of Troy that the audience will already have known even through it remains explicitly unspoken during the course of the play. And yet, directorial choices in the play’s performance history have yielded a scenario in which this speechless body becomes spokesperson for all the characters in Troy. Antenor and the narrator of The House of

in Transporting Chaucer
Laywomen in monastic spaces
Susannah Crowder

, religious, and cultural upheaval. By the fifteenth century, Catherine Gronnaix could still draw upon this body of narrative and practice in the form of commemorative performances that united monastic and lay identity. To develop these divergent examples, I join methods that explore how institutions and individuals negotiated history, identity, and place to the performance history approach. Concepts of community and its functions are a significant field within the study of the Middle Ages, and include definitions centred on texts, interpretation, viewing, and emotions.1

in Performing women
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Susannah Crowder

, performative, and transformative. Gendered public performance offered roles of expansive range and depth to the women of Metz and positioned them as vital and integral contributors to the fabric of urban life. Methodology and historiography Performing women develops an approach that I term ‘performance history’: the use of performance methodologies to study and write cultural history.9 The vocabulary of performance now permeates the field of medieval studies, and scholars have adopted its methods widely.10 This book appropriates select concepts, however, in service of a

in Performing women
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Biography, documentary culture, and public presence
Susannah Crowder

2 ‘I, Catherine’: biography, documentary culture, and public presence Introduction In the previous chapter, performance history provided an alternative understanding of the 1468 Saint Catherine jeu that incorporated social and cultural context; it demonstrated that the jeu took part in a movement that positioned women at the centre of devotions to the saint. To further develop this relationship between women’s lives and performances, I turn to Catherine Baudoche, who funded the jeu, and the interaction between her performance practice and financial activity more

in Performing women
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Susannah Crowder

exclusion from legal ceremony, but also in the documentation of other kinds of performance such as the Saint Catherine jeu. Given this bias in the archive, it cannot be assumed that women in Metz prioritised the material elements of their practice over other aspects. Narrow representations of the performances of the Catherines and Claude carry serious consequences for performance history, on the whole. When text is unreliable and performing women employ physical channels of expression, then the destruction of the material heritage of the later Middle Ages means the loss

in Performing women
Space, memory, and material devotion
Susannah Crowder

women’s religious patronage and women’s participation in fraternal associations with methodologies that consider material devotion. Personal practice is embedded within a framework of shared social matter in order to produce a holistic perspective of this aspect of women’s performance. To this end, I integrate theories of memory, space, and material culture into the performance history approach. Medieval scholarship’s acknowledgement of the fundamental role of women in constructions of memory underpins this work.1 Like those of Catherine Gronnaix, women’s donations

in Performing women
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Writing the history of female performers
Susannah Crowder

responding to immediate conditions. Unlike the Catherine actor, Catherine Baudoche appears in many sources that illuminate her as a historical figure; she was a wealthy member of the Messine patriciate, holding influence well beyond the dramatic sphere. Although my later chapters explore Catherine’s biography and performance history in detail, here I focus upon her as a patron of Saint Catherine and the jeu. First, Catherine did not confine her interactions with Catherine of Siena and the Dominicans to the Saint Catherine jeu. Previously unknown documentary sources confirm

in Performing women
Female actors, impersonation, and cultural transmission
Susannah Crowder

gain; ‘impersonation’, as a form of enteringinto, is a more apt term for my findings.14 Women assumed the Joan role in ways that impressed meanings onto their bodies that could be stored and shared. Ultimately, the Pucelle scenario models the ways that female performance could be iterative and productive, yet remain invisible to traditional approaches. It creates an opportunity both to access the performance histories of non-elite women and to position them within late medieval culture more broadly. Female performers: a historiography of impostors and saints From

in Performing women
Temporal origami in the Towneley Herod the Great
Daisy Black

ideal which was already out of date. Moreover, the language of the court becomes comically and troublingly inappropriate when placed in the context of a massacre. For example, Herod rewards the counsellor who suggests the massacre with promises of castles, lands and even the title of Pope. 84 This brings the Bethlehem massacre together with the kind of rewards a powerful king might be able to dispense. Given the cross-period performance histories of the Towneley manuscript compilation, this astonishing offer of the title of ‘Pope’ as a reward might have been

in Play time