By Penny Gay
As She Likes it's the first try and take on head at the enduring query of the way to accomplish these unruly girls on the centre of Shakespeare's comedies. precise among either Shakespearian and feminist stories, As She Likes It asks how gender politics impacts the construction to the comedies, and the way gender is represented, either within the textual content and at the level. Penny homosexual takes a desirable examine the best way 12th evening, The Taming of the Shrew, a lot Ado approximately not anything, As you're keen on It and degree for degree were staged over the past part a century, whilst perceptions of gender roles have gone through sizeable adjustments. She additionally interrogates, carefully yet thoughtfully, the connection among a male theatrical institution and a burgeoning feminist method of functionality. As illuminating for practitioners because it may be relaxing and valuable for college kids, As She Likes it will likely be serious studying for an individual attracted to women's event of theatre.
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Extra resources for As She Likes It: Shakespeare's Unruly Women (Gender in Performance)
As for the lovers, Gill’s ground-breaking insistence on their problematic sexuality was not ignored: In Illyria love is a sudden and alarming affliction, a variety of glandular fever…. Antonio seems much more than ordinarily besotted with Sebastian, and Gareth Thomas’s Orsino is not the usual droopy musicophage but a grizzled gentleman-pirate dangerously likely to succumb to his unpredictable impulses and cut a throat or two. ’ Nightingale’s choice of pronoun is apt: Lunghi’s Viola, even in 39 AS SHE LIKES IT disguise, looked more like Olivia than like Sebastian: both lateadolescent girls in a hothouse of emotion (plate 5).
The set (by Bill Dudley) was dominated by a huge picture of Narcissus on the back wall; on one of the front walls was scrawled in red chalk the message, ‘learn to read what silent love hath writ’. Robert Cushman in the Observer (9 February 1975) noted the ‘distinction between those characters who habitually turned themselves upstage and those—most notably Jane Lapotaire’s Viola—who boldly addressed the audience, seeking a sounding-board rather than a mirror’. Irving Wardle explained: ‘All are intoxicated with their own reflections, and the function of Viola and Sebastian is to put them through an Ovidian obstacle course from which they learn to turn away from the mirror and form real attachments’ (The Times, 23 August 1974).
Donald Sumpter’s Orsino was a balding, bad-tempered, middleaged village tyrant—more like a bad stepfather to the lost Viola/ Cesario than a potential lover. 4. ‘It always amazes me,’ said Michael Coveney, ‘when contemporary productions miss out, as does this one, on the obvious sexual interplay of the cross-gender comedy’. Alexander, one might infer, found the alienation of his characters more engaging than their sexuality—the ‘madness’ of his formula privileged over the ‘love’. Like Orsino, the melancholy imperious Olivia (Deborah Findlay) seemed not very interested in the boy-ambassador.