Shoemaker's Holiday (Plays for Performance Series)

Overview

Written and first performed in 1599, The Shoemaker's Holiday was the most popular non-Shakespearean comedy of its day—a hearty brew of character and overflowing good humor, occasionally ribald, about the gentle craft of shoemaking. Bernard Sahlins's new adaptation streamlines the dialogue for contemporary audiences and makes it extremely playable.
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The Shoemaker's Holiday

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Overview

Written and first performed in 1599, The Shoemaker's Holiday was the most popular non-Shakespearean comedy of its day—a hearty brew of character and overflowing good humor, occasionally ribald, about the gentle craft of shoemaking. Bernard Sahlins's new adaptation streamlines the dialogue for contemporary audiences and makes it extremely playable.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A popular comedy in Shakespeare's day, The Shoemaker's Holiday was temporarily removed from the repertory during the Restoration for being too racy. Here, Bernard Sahlins, a founder of Chicago's acclaimed comedy troupe, the Second City, has updated the text to make it more accessible to modern actors, sans editorial glosses or scholarly apparatus. It's all Dekker, except for about 450 words that have disappeared from the language or changed meaning. The adaptations made by Sahlins are invisible to anyone who is not intimately familiar with the text. For example, he has replaced sundry in the first line with several; later, "I'll o'erreach his policies" becomes "I'll outscheme him." The language of bawdy and insult is mostly untouched. While this is a legitimate effort, this reviewer is unconvinced of its virtue. Wanting to make a 16th-century play available to a general reading public is commendable, but altering the text is part of a dangerous trend that can lead to horrific writing when the original, if played well, is perfectly clear. That this play is intended for adults rather than teens who might have more trouble with the language makes the need for an adaptation all the more questionable. For specialized theater collections only.-Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566635431
  • Publisher: Ivan R Dee
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Series: Plays for Performance Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Sahlins is co-editor, with Nicholas Rudall, of the Plays for Performance series. He has also written Days and Nights at The Second City. The Plays for Performance series is edited by Nicholas Rudall, former artistic director of the Court Theatre at the University of Chicago where he is professor of classics, and Bernard Sahlins, founder and director of the Second City. They both live in Chicago, Illinois.
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