"My body shall pay recompense": the embodiment of Margaret in selected staged and televised cycles of the first tetralogy

Hipkiss, K (2021) "My body shall pay recompense": the embodiment of Margaret in selected staged and televised cycles of the first tetralogy. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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Abstract

This is a critical study of the body of Queen Margaret in performance in selected cycles of the first tetralogy (the three parts of 'Henry VI' and 'Richard III'). Focussing on four major British cycles (two by the Royal Shakespeare Company and two by the British Broadcasting Corporation), the study places each cycle within its cultural and theatrical or televisual context and analyses how these selected productions present Margaret and her theatrical mirrors, and how they embody (or refuse to embody) contemporaneous concepts of female transgression. The introduction provides an overview of the aims and objectives of the work and an introduction to the methodological approaches used. The first chapter analyses the presentation of Margaret's hair in production photographs from two Royal Shakespeare Company cycles either side of the sexual revolution (1963 and 1977), and creates a theorised performance history that explores how the cycles interacted with prevalent cultural ideas of female sexuality, as well as representing a change in Royal Shakespeare Company management. The second chapter examines Jane Howell's 1983 BBC cycle­ - part of the BBC/Time-Life complete works project - and how Howell used televisual and theatrical techniques to create a cycle that both literally and figuratively centred Margaret and her theatrical mirrors. The third and final chapter analyses Dominic Cooke's 2016 BBC cycle 'The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses', and how the creative direction of the cycle, its star actors, and its existence in a time of large scale cinematically realistic and bombastic television, made for a cycle that both allowed characters to marginalise and use female bodies, and did so itself. The conclusion of the study draws together these analytical threads, and outlines how each of the approaches contribute to a larger critical study of the body of Margaret in performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: William Shakespeare, theatre performance, television, Queen Margaret, history plays, Royal Shakespeare Company, British Broadcasting Corporation, RSC, BBC, theatre design, costuming, hair styles, female sexuality, 20th century drama, 21st century drama
Divisions: Bath School of Music & Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 10:54
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 07:49
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