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Gender-stubbornness about Shakespearean roles would have robbed us of great Lears.


Davie

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Gender-stubbornness about Shakespearean roles would have robbed us of great Lears from Glenda Jackson and Kathryn Hunter, and also of Kingston’s magnificent, revelatory Prospero. “Our revels now are ended” and “this rough magic I here abjure”, the soliloquies disavowing super-powers, are often played as elegiac farewells, but from Kingston feel closer to Christ at Gethsemane, a war between two natures. 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2023/feb/03/the-tempest-review-alex-kingston-prospero-royal-shakespeare-stratford

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That sounds like a production I would love to experience.  During a couple of weeks here while my internet service was down due to weather and ecological reasons* I had been working on a Drag Queen 101 presentation to answer some people with negative views about the purpose and intentions of the Queen's and some of my comments hit the genderless and Hyper-gendered nature of stage roles that this involves.  There are many roles, not just Shakespeare's that really could be either sex or gender based on just the words on the page and totally change the understanding of the play, all for the better.

 

 

*(The weather being where storms north of me had done major damage to the entire phone systems and had pulled technicians from my area to work on them, the ecological being the squirrels who had chewed through my service wiring and cut me off. Cellphone antenna's in a church belfry near me had chased out a parliament of owls who had loved squirrel for dinner and our squirrel population has not been kept in check.)

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