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Ben Jonson and Theatre is an research and occasion of Jonson's performs from the viewpoint of the theatre practitioner in addition to the instructor. Reflecting the expanding curiosity within the wider box of Renaissance drama, this e-book bridges the theory/practice divide by means of debating how Jonson's drama operates in functionality. Ben Jonson and Theatre contains: * discussions with and among practitioners * essays at the staging of the performs * edited transcripts of interviews with modern practitioners the quantity contains contributions from Joan Littlewood, Sam Mendes, John Nettles, Simon Russell Beale and Geoffrey Rush, Oscar-winning actor for Shine.
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Extra info for Ben Jonson and the Theatre: Performance, Practice, and Theory
The final scenes of Sejanus show Tiberius casting the remaining characters to play out roles in a scenario of his devising which he watches from a distance with evident relish at this display of his absolute power. In a less tyrannical mould this becomes the tactic of Volpone and Mosca and of the venture tripartite: in both plays the gullers act within the scenarios they create but the better to observe the success of their schemes. They fuse in their own persons the functions of actor and spectator, which, as in the case of Quarlous, continually poses a challenge to the theatre audience about their own chosen function within the performance and their motive for preserving distance from events which are actually criminal while gaining entertainment in the process.
Subtly Jonson has taught us how to read the importance that the visual sustains within his dramaturgy. Accepting Jonson’s strictures as extrapolated here opens fresh insights into the function of visual effects within his plays. Many seem to exploit the sheer size of the Renaissance stage. It becomes noticeable, for example, how frequently Jonson’s text or directions require a passing of one or more characters over the space. Twice the discussions of Arruntius and his friends in the opening scene of Sejanus are interrupted by first Drusus, heir to the throne, with his attendants and then by Sejanus himself, accompanied by his circle of sycophants.
Hibbard’s in the New Mermaid edition12 so that the comments of Winwife and Quarlous are presented in brackets to suggest they ought to be performed across certain lines of Nightingale’s song) the dynamics of the staging are no longer immediately, or indeed clearly, apparent. 13 One final point will substantiate my view that the 1616 Folio can be read as both a literary and a performance text: the case of the unidentified voice in The Alchemist. In the first scene of Act 2 Mammon brings Surly to the house to have him view the alchemical experiments.