Friday, September 14, 2007


The poster here shows actor Thomas Keene, famous for his late Victorian Shakespearean roles. His poses and costume here show the influence of Edwin Booth -- the most famous Hamlet of all, some critics say the best of all time. Keene supported Booth in several productions.

Those who have been reading my blog for a while will be able to "read" the poster for information: the meaning of the attitudes, the costume stripes to aid visibility in a dim theatre, and the actors playing off of each other in group poses to create a story-picture. This is an excellent exercise for actors today trying to recreate past methods: deconstruct the posture for clues to the story, and try to recreate it on your own bodies. Do as your forbears did, and work in front of a mirror periodically, to check your delivery. And try to deliver gestures in three parts: beginning, middle and end. Normal delivery puts the most energy in the middle; when aiming for "points", the energy should climax at the end and freeze for a second.


Anonymous said...

please could you tell me the date of this performance poster. thank you

Buff Huntley said...

This is from 1884.