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Author: Robert Ormsby

Coriolanus resonated for a Jacobean London audience through performance, assuming it actually was performed in the early seventeenth century. This book focuses on the postwar-productions of the Shakespeare's play. It deals with the Laurence Olivier's 1959 version at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, the reconfiguration of Bertolt Brecht in the 1960s and early 1970s, and the Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of the play in 1972. Alan Howard won the 1978 London Theatre critics award for Best Actor, starred in successful Coriolanus remounts at Nottingham and London in 1978. The 1984-85 National Theatre's Coriolanus reveals the Shakespeare-plus-relevance ideology under strain from the factious political climate, and Peter Hall's outburst in 1985 was the result of years of stagnant arts funding from Margaret Thatcher's government. The book discusses goulash communism that characterized the mid-1980s Hungary and the staging of Coriolanus in Budapest by Gabor Szekely, and the 1988 theatrically radical presentation at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Coriolan embodies the competing influences that help define Robert Lepage's Shakespeare production, which overlapped the highly charged political events in Canada when Quebec voters turned down a proposal to negotiate sovereignty from the country. The new Globe theatre's Coriolanus in May 2006 was the inaugural production under the theatre's new artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole. This Coriolanus appeared to be designed to fulfil a set of expectations related to a certain image of Globe performance. Ralph Fiennes's film in 2011-12 made Coriolanus a failed action hero in denying him unambiguously heroic status.

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If honour and principle were the watchwords for Caesars of the nineteenth century, and totalitarianism the core of twentieth, the word which ghosts twenty-first-century productions most clearly is 'spin'. This book traces this evolutionary journey, and discusses productions because they somehow speak to ideas about the play which characterise their period of production, or they have significant features in their own right. It first gives an account of productions of the play prior to the Second World War, right from the stagings at the Globe Theatre's in 1599 to William Bridges-Adams's productions till 1934. The 1937 Orson Welles's production of Julius Caesar, staged at New York's Mercury Theatre was decked out with all the trappings and scenic theatricality of contemporary European Fascism. Shakespeare's play becomes a forum for a consideration of an ethics of American identity with John Houseman's 1953 film. The book discusses three modernist productions of Lindsay Anderson, John Barton and Trevor Nunn, and the new versions of the play for the British TV. The productions under Thatcher's Britain are also focused as well as the unknown accents, especially the Indian and African ones. The productions of Italy, Austria and Germany productions have eschewed direct political association with past or present regimes. The book also presents a detailed study of two productions by a single company, Georgia Shakespeare. In the new millennium, the play's back-and-forth exchange between its long past and the shrill and vibrant insistence of its present, have taken centre stage.

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David M. Bergeron

On a bright, sunny, early summer day in 1613 hundreds of Londoners of various social and economic backgrounds began to make their noisy way to the Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames after their midday meal. They came from their shops and homes, walking along the streets of the City of London, through Cheapside and southward toward the medieval London Bridge where they

in Shakespeare’s London 1613
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David M. Bergeron

In 1599 William Shakespeare stood at a professional crossroads 1 which led to his participation in the financing and construction of the Globe Theatre; in 1613, with the burning of this theatre, Shakespeare stood at the end of his active professional involvement in playwriting and the theatre. In 1613, King James I of England, Shakespeare’s contemporary, and his court

in Shakespeare’s London 1613
The new Globe’s 2006 Coriolanus
Robert Ormsby

The new Globe theatre’s Coriolanus, which opened the company’s season in May 2006, was the inaugural production under the theatre’s new artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole. As Dromgoole was taking over from the Globe’s original artistic director, Mark Rylance, who had left his imprint upon the theatre in its first decade up to 2005, comparisons between the two were

in Coriolanus
Michael D. Friedman and Alan Dessen

Fascist Italy, emulated the political approach established by Douglas Seale, and Lucy Bailey’s production at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre resembled the darkly comic vision of Deborah Warner. Three of these five directors (Ninagawa, Edwards, and Rose) also took inspiration from Taymor’s film, as evidenced by their focus, at the end of their productions, on the relationship between Young Lucius and Aaron’s baby. Ninagawa Company, Saitama, Japan, 2004, 2006 – Dir. Yukio Ninagawa In 1995, Yoshiko Kawachi

in Titus Andronicus
Caesar at the millennium
Andrew James Hartley

centre stage. It is fitting that the last conspicuous Julius Caesar production of the old millennium took place at the reconstructed Globe theatre in London in Spring 1999. The production, and the debate around it, centred on issues of time, some of which are obviously at work in the play itself, while others have fastened on to it subsequently. One of these, which the production

in Julius Caesar
Open Access (free)
Farah Karim-Cooper

the Senses to explore early modern sensory theory, to reveal the number of works in the period that are preoccupied with themes and language of the senses and to challenge the idea that Shakespeare’s first audiences went only to ‘hear’ plays or that they were either auditors or spectators. We wanted to suggest that early modern theatrical performance was a multisensory phenomenon and that audiences/spectators/congregators/assemblies responded to performance with the entirety of their bodies. Reconstructed early modern playhouses, such as the Globe Theatre, the

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
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Michael D. Friedman and Alan Dessen

approach that eschews the play’s comic elements and labours to avoid the laughter that sometimes accompanies the performance of the text’s atrocities. Warner’s branch of the play’s stage history, which conversely embraces the darkly comic undertones within the tragedy, has produced only one direct descendant, Lucy Bailey’s 2006 production at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. And yet, some comic elements do occasionally reappear in the fourth line of descent, which I am calling the ‘political’ approach. By associating

in Titus Andronicus
Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape
Author: Janice Norwood

Victorian touring actresses: Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape provides a new perspective on the on- and offstage lives of women working in nineteenth-century theatre, and affirms the central role of touring, both within the United Kingdom and in North America and Australasia. Drawing on extensive archival research, it features a cross-section of neglected performers whose dramatic specialisms range from tragedy to burlesque. Although they were employed as stars in their own time, their contribution to the industry has largely been forgotten. The book’s innovative organisation follows a natural lifecycle, enabling a detailed examination of the practical challenges and opportunities typically encountered by the actress at each stage of her working life. Individual experiences are scrutinised to highlight the career implications of strategies adopted to cope with the demands of the profession, the physical potential of the actress’s body, and the operation of gendered power on and offstage. Analysis is situated in a wide contextual framework and reveals how reception and success depended on the performer’s response to the changing political, economic, social and cultural landscape as well as to developments in professional practice and organisation. The book concludes with discussion of the legacies of the performers, linking their experiences to the present-day situation.