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Not Hamlet: Meditations on the Frail Position of Women in Drama
     

Not Hamlet: Meditations on the Frail Position of Women in Drama

by Janet Suzman
 

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Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, La Pucelle, Ophelia, Shaw’s St Joan and Ibsen’s Hedda – a handful of ‘seminal’ roles for women in the classical canon. Janet Suzman has played them all and directed some. Here she examines their complexity and explores why only Cleopatra has an independence that allows her to speak to modern women.

Overview

Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, La Pucelle, Ophelia, Shaw’s St Joan and Ibsen’s Hedda – a handful of ‘seminal’ roles for women in the classical canon. Janet Suzman has played them all and directed some. Here she examines their complexity and explores why only Cleopatra has an independence that allows her to speak to modern women.

None of these, regrettably, matches up to a Hamlet, but as she is grateful for the parts he did write, Suzman feels a lightly-barbed attack on those who work in theatre and doubt Shakespeare’s authorship is way overdue. She also takes issue with received ideas on boy actors playing mature women in Shakespeare’s company, and refl ects on how female characters in classical drama have not been on a level with their male counterparts. Today, on TV, fi lm and the stage, this remains the case. Not Hamlet but Hamlette, please.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781849436014
Publisher:
Oberon Books, Limited
Publication date:
10/22/2015
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
336 KB

Meet the Author

Janet Suzman was born in Johannesburg, graduated from the University of Witwatersrand, trained at LAMDA, and was at the RSC for a decade playing many of the heroines and culminating in a memorable Cleopatra. She has since pursued a richly varied career; twice winner of the Evening Standard Best Actress Award, she has also received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, twice won the Liverpool Echo Best Production Award and the TMA Best Production. She has diversifi ed into occasional directing – beginning with her Johannesburg Othello in 1987 – and now teaches, lectures, writes and returns to acting, when the occasion beckons, with relief.

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