difficult to imagine what Eliot would have considered a “cogent refutation” of so incoherent a performance (it is quite clear why he had never seen one), but obviously all that matters is that Rymer’s indignant heart was in the right place. Rymer is interesting for my purposes precisely because of his incoherences, because he notices everything and

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later explained to the authorities, the play was “so old and so long out of use that they should have small or no company at it” (that is, it would have attracted no audience), but Essex’s men had subsidised the performance to the tune of forty shillings – 480 groundling tickets, or 240 seats in the gallery – and so the company “at their request were content to play it.” Clearly

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could not assert with arms. Elizabeth gradually redefined the family mythology, eventually placing herself at the center of a drama in which the essence of knighthood was not the performance of heroic deeds in battle but service to a lady. Chivalry became, in her hands, a myth that disarmed her heroes as it idealized her, and the language of heroism became the language of

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heaven.” How guilty is Gertrude, and what is she guilty of? But Hamlet raises neither question, and it turns out that what he really wants from his mother is not an assurance of her innocence but only her promise not to sleep with her husband any more. Within a year or two of the play’s first performances, something was felt to be lacking here. The first quarto, a shortened and

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. Disguise is the essence of theater, and thereby of drama in performance, and it is enabled by, though not subsumed in, costume – what we are meant to see beneath the costumes on stage is the characters, not the actors. But costume, as a defining feature of almost any social role, is also essential to the functioning of every human culture. I begin

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Faustus. In one version, during a performance in Exeter, as Faustus was conjuring surrounded by a group of devils, the actors became aware that there was one devil too many, and stopped the play and fled from the town in fear for their lives and souls. In other less stylish versions of the story, Satan himself actually appeared during a performance. Such stories are part of the mythology of

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’s installation when he describes the Lady and her brothers as “coming to attend their father’s state/And new entrusted sceptre”; nevertheless, the masque was not presented until a further four months had passed – the sceptre was hardly new. The selection of Michaelmas for the date of the performance was doubtless significant: the provincial courts began their sessions at Michaelmas, and

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Epilogue Artists working in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe during the communist period adopted performance art as a free-form, open-ended means of expression to give voice to concepts, relationships and actions that otherwise would not have been possible in the official realm of art or in the public sphere. In the post-communist period, artists continued to embrace the experimental nature of performance. They have likewise utilised performance art to articulate issues of concern, including those related to national and other forms of identity that have

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Reading early modern illustrations

are not only in the best modern style; they also represent the plays as if in performance, Jonson’s drama as a living tradition. This was no doubt a potent selling point: Jonson was, throughout the Restoration, a more popular playwright than Shakespeare. Nevertheless, by 1716 a good deal of Jonson’s theater was quite as obscure as The New Inn – of the eleven plays that Tonson

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Introduction This book represents the first attempt to write a comprehensive account of performance art in Eastern Europe – the former communist, socialist and Soviet countries of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe – since the 1960s. It is indebted to groundbreaking studies on the subject such as Zdenka B ­ adovinac’s Body and the East: From the 1960s to the Present (1998), the first exhibition to examine body art practices in the region, which was accompanied by a catalogue that serves as a precursor to the present volume. As this book will demonstrate

in Performance art in Eastern Europe since 1960