Shakespeare's Staging
The Two Noble Kinsmen
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Friday, 22 April 2005 06:18

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The Two Noble Kinsmen, directed by Linda Lees, Lower Sproul Plaza, UCB, 1979. The Morris Dance is a fertility rite central to the play's amatory themes.

STAGING THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN

This eccentric play, a version of Chaucer's Knight's Tale, intersects the story of Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream just before his marriage, which is here deferred to allow him to lead an army against Creon to revenge the widowing of three lamenting Queens. He returns victorious with two prisoners who fall in love with Emilia, the sister of his bride, Hippolyta (see clip in Video Gallery). After many vicissitudes one dies and the other marries a reluctant Emilia. Their jailer's daughter runs mad for love of one of the prisoners but is cured by marriage to a plebeian suitor. The marriages are celebrated by a Morris Dance serving roughly the role of Pyramus and Thisbe in the earlier play (1.6). This neglected play, co-authored apparently by Shakespeare and his successor John Fletcher, was scarcely performed until the twentieth century, but the charm and pathos of its lovers have earned it several professional productions recently (6.2.36, 6.2.37, 6.2.38), with some success. HMR

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Agate, James. Brief Chronicles: A Survey of the Plays of Shakespeare in Actual Performance. London: Jonathan Cape, 1943. [Discusses Old Vic performance, March 1928, pp. 153-6]

Anonymous. "Two Noble Kinsmen Well Done at Antioch." Dayton Daily News, August 11, 1955.

Anonymous. "Impressive Noble Kinsmen." Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, York Theater Royal. Stage and Television Today, July 12, 1973.

Bawcutt, N. W. The Two Noble Kinsmen. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977.

Bates, Merete. "Two Noble Kinsmen at York Theatre Royal." Manchester Guardian, July 5, 1973.

Berkowitz, Gerald M. "Shakespeare in Edinburgh." Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Cherub Company, August 27-September 8, 1979. Shakespeare Quarterly 31 (1980): 165-6.

Bullock, Ken. "Lively, Playful Excursion Into Obscure Shakespeare." Review of Two Noble Kinsmen, African-American Shakespeare Company, Buriel Clay Theater, San Francisco. Berkeley Daily Planet, October 18, 2005.

D'Avenant, William. The Rivals: A Comedy. Acted by His Highness the Duke of York's Servants. London: William Cademan, 1668. [An alteration by D'Avenant of The Two Noble Kinsmen by Fletcher and Shakespeare]

Fletcher, John & William Shakespeare. The Two Noble Kinsmen, ["Presented at the Blackfriers by the Kings Majesties servants, with great applause"]. London: Tho. Cotes, for John Waterson, 1634. [Reprinted: London: Tudor Facsimile Texts, 1910]

Frey, Charles, ed. Shakespeare & Fletcher: "The Two Noble Kinsmen." Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1989.

Griffin, Alice. "Current Theatre Notes 1958-1959." Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Reading University, June 13-18, 1959. Shakespeare Quarterly 11 (1960): 97-115.

Howard, Tony. "Census of Renaissance Drama Productions." Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Cherub Company, November 21-December 8, 1979. Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 22 (1979): 78-85.

Hyde, Mary C. "Current Theater Notes." Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Harvard Dramatic Club, April-June 1954. Shakespeare Quarterly 6 (1955): 67-88.

Jones, M. G. "The Two Noble Kinsmen." Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Bristol University, July 14-18, 1964. New Theatre Magazine 3 (July-Sept. 1964): 18-9.

MacDonell, A. G. "Chronicles: The Drama." Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Old Vic, March 1928. The London Mercury 17, no. 102 (April 1928): 696-9.

Metz, G. Harold, ed. Four Plays Assigned to Shakespeare (Edward III, Sir Thomas More, Cardenio, The Two Noble Kinsmen); an Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1982. [See p. xxiv]

Nicoll, Allardice. "Shakespeare and the Court Masque." Shakespeare Jahrbuch 94 (1958): 51-62.

Potter, Lois, ed. The Two Noble Kinsmen. Walton-on-Thames: Nelson [Third Arden], 1997.

Potter, Lois. "The Two Noble Kinsmen in 1993-94." Shakespeare Quarterly 47, no. 2, 197-203.

Richmond, Hugh M. "The Persistent Kinsmen of Shakespeare and Fletcher." Notes and Queries 40, no. 2 (June 1993): 232-4.

Richmond, Hugh M. "The Two Noble Kinsmen: Performance as Criticism." In Shakespeare & Fletcher: "The Two Noble Kinsmen," edited by C. Frey, 163-85. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1989.

Richmond, H. M., director. The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare Program. TV Producer: P. Shepard; directors: L. Lees, G. M. Wallace & M. Winks [videos of two productions, in Moffitt Library], UC Berkeley, 1978.

Seltzer, Daniel. "The Staging of the Last Plays." In Later Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon Studies 8, edited by John Russell Brown and Bernard Harris, 127-65. London: Edward Arnold, 1966.

Smith, Irwin. Shakespeare's Blackfriars Playhouse: Its History and Design. New York: New York University, 1964. [See pp. 213, 218, 234, 236-7, 260, 349, 361, 377-8]

Stoddard, Joseph R. and Lillian Wilds. "Shakespeare in Southern California and Visalia." Shakespeare Quarterly 31 (1980): 254, 258-9.

Trewin, J. C. Review of The Two Noble Kinsmen, Regent's Park. The Illustrated London News 262: 6915 (Oct. 1974): 107.

Trussler, Simon, ed. The Two Noble Kinsmen. London: Methuen, 1987.

Waith, Eugene, ed. The Two Noble Kinsmen. Oxford: Clarendon, 1989.

Wells, Stanley. "The Two Noble Kinsmen at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon." In Shakespeare: Varied Perspectives, edited by Vikram Chopra, 441-44. Delhi: B. R. Publishing, 1996.

Wickham, Glynne. "The Two Noble Kinsmen or A Midsummer Night's Dream, Part II?" Elizabethan Theatre 7 (1980): 167-96.

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The fascination of madness: frustrated in love, the Jailer's Daughter echoes Ophelia's insanity (UCB, 1978).

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