Ours As We Play It: Australia Plays Shakespeare by Kate Flaherty PDF

By Kate Flaherty

Shakespeare's performs are permeable to the contexts within which they're played, taking over and chatting with neighborhood issues. Early smooth audiences may have skilled the humor and resonance of neighborhood id together with his performs. an identical is correct in state-of-the-art Australia, the place the content material of that neighborhood id with Shakespeare's performs is uniquely Australian. Ours As We Play It files using Shakespeare's works to discover modern concerns. The publication takes an in depth examine a number of modern Australian productions of 3 of Shakespeare's best-loved performs: exploring masculinity and insanity in Hamlet, the position of panorama and the a number of roles of Rosalind in As you love It, and hierarchies of gender and social order re-imagined relating to Australian understandings of strength in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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He coached the audience, made them laugh at his own self-indulgence and exhibited an extraordinary capacity to clown. His excitement prior to The Murder of Gonzago was expressed as crazed and impetuous joking and railing energy and drew much laughter from the audience. indd 29 30/06/11 11:05 AM hamlet counseling him to be more subdued. This Hamlet was eager, excitable, warm-hearted, vigorous, very physically impulsive and dangerous. Introversion, despondency and brooding melancholy were antithetical to his nature.

While Claudius’ audience stood in an arc around him applauding his speech and raising glasses to him, Hamlet (Leon Ford) stood behind them all; downstageleft and facing the audience. His remoteness was accentuated by his rigidity of stance and his black Victorian-style frockcoat that contrasted with the opulent colours worn by the other characters. Claudius (Christopher Stollery) spoke with a noticeably regimented stress pattern and Ford’s Hamlet – separate and silent – evinced an instinctive dislike of Claudius from the outset.

This in turn accentu� ated the issue of Hamlet’s masculine identity. While heterosexual intimacy animated this Hamlet, fatherhood appalled him. As a man he experienced as treacherous, the capacity of Ophelia’s body to make their union into something (or someone) more than themselves. And it was this ideological and emotional positioning – this embattled masculinity – that seemed to set him adrift amongst the other vicissitudes of the play’s world leading to an escalation of violence and his (and her) eventual demise.

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