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Sixteen Lines: Fourteenth Line

Your Humble Blogger has three more lines to blog and two more performances. I had better get on that, hadn’t I better? The Man is orating with great effect, and the Husband says that he speaks with enthusiasm.

And with wisdom, may it be said. What say you, Governor Bellingham? Hath he not pleaded well for the poor woman?

I like the phrasing here: the Man has pleaded well, not logically or correctly or according to Writ, but well. The phrasing also gives me a chance to do that against/for thing that Nearly Legendary Director is on about: I am so clearly for the Man and his skilled oratory, and against the poor woman, and it makes a nice contrast in the line.

I am also pleased about this moment in the play, as it is one of the few moments in this particular production where I came up with a bit. Nearly-Legendary Director is not enamored of actors coming up with bits—oh, he does make the usual mouth noises about actors experimenting and so forth, but in point of fact, given two weeks of rehearsal time with the full cast, and given that he did not want us experimenting or inventing during the blocking process, and that he wanted everything locked down by the dress rehearsals, there was no time for us to come up with things that might work and might not, and I was not under the impression that he regretted that lack in the slightest way. I am complaining, of course, because I do like the opportunity to come up with business or body language or such to add my own touch to the story, but I must admit that the final result does not appear to have suffered at all from this exclusion.

And, when I say exclusion, it wasn’t forbidden at all, it was just…much less of a priority than other shows in my experience.

So. In this line, when I am responding to the Husband, the line is actually communicating to the Man; I reach out my hand to him in a sort of benedictory clasp, if you know what I mean—my palm is down, and he takes it in both of his hands and bows over it. I am giving him my imprimatur, my countenance. It is congratulatory, but clearly from a greater power to a lesser; I am his patron, and I am, in that sense at least, patronizing him. Just a moment, a trifle really, not something that would (I imagine) break through to the awareness of the audience, but a helpful part of the story, anyway. And it’s one of the non-shouty bits, which is nice for a change.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,