Saw that you had a link to Kathryn Hunter’s R3, which reminded me of this fantastic production of Richard III starring Seana McKenna. Here is a short film which juxtaposes Ms McKenna’s transformation from woman to man with another production that was on that season, Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna (the protagonist is a drag queen emulating Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra).
This link goes to my blog, wherein one finds another video regarding this production’s concept, with a complete transcript.
There are a couple of great Canadian plays which deal with gender, homosexuality and Shakespeare. The first is Elizabeth Rex, and the second is Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)
Elizabeth Rex by Timothy Findlay deals with gender roles in Shakespeare’s time- Queen Elizabeth I is a woman who is fulfilling a man’s duty, and Ned Lowenscroft is a gay actor in Shakespeare’s troupe who specialises in women’s roles. He is dying, and she has condemned her lover to death.
In the foreground sits an older woman wearing a bright red wig and stiff white gown with a large neck ruff. Her accoutrements are bedecked with lace and pearls, and her face is heavily made up with white base and red spots of blush and lipstick. She is striking a dramatic pose, and looks to her right. This is Diane D’Aquila as Elizabeth the First. By her lap is a glowing lantern with a small candle inside. This is a DVD cover- the text on it reads- Opening Night: Showcase for the Performing Arts: Elizabeth Rex.
Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie Macdonald follows the adventures of a would-be university professor through the texts of Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Compared to Elizabeth Rex it is very lighthearted, and has a lot of gay hijinx, in every sense that phrase can be taken.
The background is an iconic shot of Shakespeare in blue wash. His eyes and mouth are replaced by what look like magazine cut-outs- His left eye is replaced by a white woman’s blue eye, and his right eye is replaced by what looks like an Impressionist rendering of an eye. His mouth is replaced by a white woman’s made-up red lips. On the bottom of the image is the cut-out of a hand holding a cigarette, done in black and white. The text of this cover reads- From the author of Fall On Your Knees: Winner of the Governer General’s Award for Drama: Ann-Marie Macdonald: Goodnight Desdemona: (Good Morning Juliet)
These are great plays. I encourage anyone who’s into Queered Shakespeare to check them out.
Submitted by bouzingo-canadian. Thank you!