By Rev. Pierre Pourant, W.H. Mitchell. M.A. (Translator)
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Additional info for Christian Spirituality, Volume 3, Later Developments, From the Renaissance to Jansenism
Cicely Berry likens the contemporary audience’s response to the beat of the verse to that of ‘a modern audience listening to Rock or Reggae or Jazz: we know when it is consistent with the message, we very often pick up on the humour in the rhythm, and we know when it is broken’ (1993:53). The significance of shifts in medium or register, added to the fact that our ears are less well attuned than an Elizabethan’s, means it is essential that modern actors do not elide the moments of transition or adopt speech tactics that either flatten the verse and prose into one medium or elevate the language generally and indiscriminately, both of which approaches destroy the distinct registers of verse and prose.
2663) is eleven, though it requires some pretty sharp manoeuvring at the very end of the scene to achieve this. 2455, but no exit is indicated for him. 2511, however, after which he has nothing else to say, and there are many other instances in this and other Quartos where essential stage directions are missing. 6 Given this evidence, it seems to me not inconceivable that for this one scene Barnard could be played by another actor, perhaps one of the actors playing Ferdinand, Anthony or Bowdler who enter for the first time in the scene 75 lines after Barnard’s final line.
Nor did any other actors set down in writing what they performed in action. Apart from observations within their plays from the large number of writers who were or had themselves been actors or who (like Philip Massinger and Richard Brome) appear regularly to have incorporated firsthand experience of rehearsal and performance directly into their work, the few guides we have to the skills and practices of Elizabethan and Jacobean actors are found in descriptions or reminiscences of performances from the point of view of audiences, playhouse artefacts such as prompt copies and ‘plots’, the demands and expectations revealed by the texts the actors performed, the possible implications for acting in the relationship between the texts, their performance spaces and audiences, and the various attacks on, and defences of, the theatre that appeared throughout the period (see Chapter 3).
Christian Spirituality, Volume 3, Later Developments, From the Renaissance to Jansenism by Rev. Pierre Pourant, W.H. Mitchell. M.A. (Translator)