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Not Only a Question of Money: Shakespeare and the Ego Decade

  • Liisa Hakola

Abstract

We get not only the kind of government but also the kind of theatre we deserve, argues Liisa Hakola, who here relates the new impulses behind Shakespearean productions of the 1980s to the social and economic assumptions which came to prevail in Britain during the ‘Thatcher decade’ – and seemingly beyond. Desirable though increased subsidy for the theatre may be – in particular for the RSC, as chief purveyors of Shakespeare – what determines the relevance of Shakespearean productions to their times, she suggests, transcends the availability of cash subsidies, however symptomatic of a prevailing climate their size or scarcity may be. Although based in Helsinki, Liisa Hakola spent much of the 1980s in Britain, preparing her PhD thesis, published in 1988, on three RSC productions of Richard II. She has published two other books in Finnish, and also translated five of Fay Weldon's novels into that language.

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Notes and References

1. Bakewell, Joan, ‘The Roots of Healthy Art’, Sunday Times, 15 04 1990.

2. John Peter, ‘Moral Insights on the Art of Deception’, ibid.

3. Peter Lewis, ‘Keeping It All in the Family’, ibid.

4. Edgar, David, ‘Seeking Ourselves in the Other Place’, RSC Magazine, No. 2 (1990), p. 18.

5. Nathan, David, ‘Hall on Hall’, Plays International, 04 1988, p. 19.

6. Callow, Simon, Being an Actor (London, 1984).

7. Marowitz, Charles, ‘Free Shakespeare! Jail Scholars!’, Plays and Players, 02 1978, p. 13.

8. Edgar, op. cit., p. 20.

9. Bradbrook, M. C., Elizabethan Stage Conditions (1932; new ed., Cambridge, 1968), p. 88.

10. Malkovich, John, interview in Sunday Times, 8 07 1990.

11. Marowitz, op. cit.

12. ‘Green Room’, Plays and Players, July 1971, p. 68.

13. Edgar, op. cit, p. 21.

14. Raphael, Frederic, ‘A Prophet for His Own Country’, Sunday Times, 4 02 1990.

15. Foakes, R. A., ‘The Art of Cruelty: Hamlet and Vindice’, Shakespeare Survey, XXVI (1973), p. 31.

16. Hurstfield, Joel, ‘The Politics of Corruption in Shakespeare's England’, Shakespeare Survey, XXVIII (1975), p. 15.

17. Hunter, G. K., ‘Truth and Art in History Plays’, Shakespeare Survey, XLII (1990), p. 16.

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