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シェイクスピアの時代の劇場遺構発見!
ケンブリッジ大学ペンブルックプレイヤーズ・ジャパンツアーの今年の演目はシェイクスピア作『夏の夜の夢』ですが、この作品が初演されたとも言われる劇場、その名もシアター座The Theatreの遺構が、ロンドン東部テムズ川北岸のショーディッチにて発見されました。なんともタイムリーな話題ですね!シェイクスピアが生きた時代の劇場運営について卒論を書いた、プロデューサーの松井さんに熱く語っていただきました。

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シアター座がオープンしたのは1576年、実に400年以上も前のこと。1590年代中頃にシェイクスピア初期の作品を上演し、1599年には土地の借用権を巡るトラブルのために取り壊され、その取り壊した後の資材を使ってかのグローブ座が建てられた、というのは有名な話だったのですが、その正確な場所は確認されていませんでした。今回、くしくも新しい劇場を建てようとする予定地で、ロンドン博物館の発掘調査チームによって発見されました。

当時の劇場の様子はというと、映画『恋に落ちたシェイクスピア』などに描かれているように円形で、屋根がなく、平土間があってその周りをぐるりと桟敷席が囲む、というイメージがおなじみだと思いますが、シアター座も同じようだっただろうと推測されています。グローブ座を同じ資材で建てたわけですから、グローブ座の描写とほぼ同じ、と推察されるのです。

ところが、グローブ座を含めてこうした劇場の様子は、写真で残っているわけではありません。うまい画家が絵で残してくれたわけでもありません。何せ興行収入に厳しく左右された庶民の娯楽の場だったわけですから、経営者の頭の中には「後世に残す」「絵を描かせて自慢する」などという考えは無かったのです。そんなことよりも目の前の興行と周辺住民からの苦情と金策とで、てんやわんやでした。設計図が無いのもご愛嬌。存在したことの記録は、帳簿・日記・法廷裁判記録・当時の上演作品の中の描写、と限られています。

シアター座の経営者バーベッジは96年頃からの地主との諍いに飽き飽きすると、99年に土地の賃貸契約が切れたのを契機に土地の上にあったもの全てを回収し、さっさとグローブ座建設に移りました。借りているもの以外は渡さないこの商人根性は「肉は切り取っても良いが、契約書にない血や髪の毛など他の物は何一つ切り取ってはいけない」という『ベニスの商人』からの一節を彷彿とさせます。それにしても父がイングランド初の演劇専用劇場を建て、息子が400年も名を残すグローブ座を建てたのですからバーベッジ家、侮れません。指物師として培われた商売感覚が後の商業演劇の興隆を生んだのです。売れなければ意味が無い。今でこそ高尚な文学のように扱われているシェイクスピア作品ですが、当時はとにかく多くの人を満足させようとするエンターテインメントでした。しかも、熊いじめや闘鶏、博打など、他の競合する娯楽がひしめく中で演劇はある意味新参者だったのです。多くの客を引きつけようと彼が描いた世界は、時を超えて未だに人々を魅了しています。400年経って、言葉や社会が変わっても、人間の中身はそこまで変わっていない、ということなのでしょう。では、その400年前の「私たち」は、具体的にどんな形の舞台を見、どんな風に観劇し、劇場で何をしていたのでしょうか。

シアター座の遺構が発見されたことで、こうした目に見えてこない、シェイクスピアが生きていた頃の劇場風景の再現にまた一歩近づきました。グローブ座の遺構も、それと並んで人気の劇場だったローズ座の遺構の一部も1989年に発見されましたが、まだまだ情報は十分ではありません。当時の様子を、周辺の状況証拠からだけでなく直接遺構から探るいいチャンスということで、ロンドンでは今ちょっとした話題になっています。

シアター座の発掘調査が一段落すれば、ローズ座と同じように遺構を保存し、更にはその上に新劇場ができあがる予定だそうです。ロンドンの新名所がまたひとつ増えそうですね。

(プロデューサー:松井聖子)

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JUGEMテーマ:演劇・舞台
Read in English >> Remains of a Shakespearean theatre found!
For this year the Pembroke Players would be performing A Midsummer Night's Dream on their Japan tour, and in a most timely fashion, the remains of the theatre, with the very name of 'The Theatre,' where purportedly the play was originally performed for its first time, has been found in Shoreditch, which is located on the northern bank of the Thames in the eastern parts of London. Our producer for this tour, Seiko Matsui, who actually wrote a paper for her bachelor's degree on how theatres were managed in Elizabethan England, has written a very enthusiastic essay about The Theatre.

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The Theatre opened in 1576, over four hundred years ago. It started to stage some early works of Shakespeare in the mid 1590s, but after a land dispute broke out, the whole building was demolished and the remaining materials used to construct a different theatre, this one called the 'Globe Theatre.' Though the latter part is a well-known fact, the exact locations of The Theatre, on the other hand, had never been discovered. The recent finding was made by a team of archaeologists from the Museum of London at a site where coincidentally the construction of a new theatre was being planned.

The layout of the theatre is thought to have been very much like the now familiar one we saw in the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, where the structure was circular in shape with no roofs, and having the gallery seats surround an open yard. As was mentioned earlier, since the Globe Theatre had used the materials scavenged from the demolished The Theatre, it is assumed that the former would be similar to the latter.

But including the Globe Theatre such theatres of that time period were never drawn by famous painters, and we would have to wait another couple hundred years for the advent of photographs. Since theatre was a pastime for the masses, managers were pitted in a make or break environment where the amount of revenue was the Holy Grail and thoughts such as keeping records for future generations, or trying to show off their buildings by having them painted by famous artists never came to mind. They already had their hands full with the play that was being performed at hand, parrying complaints from nearby residents, and trying to make ends meet. Naturally aren't any blueprints. The only remaining evidence that these buildings actually existed is limited to accounts, diaries, records from court fights, and allusions made in the scripts of plays that were performed at that time.

The Theatre's owner, Richard Burbage, having gotten quite fed up with a land dispute between him and the landlord that had been going on from around 1596, decided to take everything that was 'on' the borrowed land (the materials used for The Theatre) and promptly moved into Globe Theatre in 1599, upon the expiration of the lease. Not leaving anything behind except for the exact thing that he had burrowed, in this case the land itself, says something about Burbage's spirit as a merchant, bringing to mind a famous line from Merchant in Venice.

'Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh. Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more but just a pound of flesh: if thou cut'st more or less than a just pound, be it but so much as makes it light or heavy in the substance, or the division of the twentieth part of one poor scruple, nay, if the scale do turn but in the estimation of a hair, thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate.' (Portia, Act IV, Scene 1, Merchant of Venice)

The Burbage family, with the father being responsible for the construction of the very first theatre geared exclusively for plays, and the son building the Globe Theatre, its reputation never fading for the last four hundred years, was a force to be reckoned with. Their training as joiners, which made them competent merchants, helped later on in bringing about the rise of theatre as a form of lucrative business. It was an industry where money was the sole concern. Though today Shakespearean theatre is considered highbrow, it was originally a form of entertainment meant to amuse as many people as possible. Yet theatre was a newcomer in an already crowded realm where there were various sorts of amusement businesses up against each other, including bear-baiting, cock fighting, and gambling. A form of art originally meant by Shakespeare to be enjoyed by lots of spectators, the more the better, it has transcended time and is still fascinating people. It probably means that at heart, people haven't changed all that much in the past four hundred years. If so, what sort of theatre did 'we,' four hundred years in the past, specifically watch? In what way? What did we do while we were inside theatres?

The finding of the remains of The Theatre provides us with a means to go one step closer towards finding out what took place in theatres while Shakespeare was alive, albeit what we can't see now with our own eyes. To be sure, the remains of the Globe Theatre, along with the partial remnants of The Rose (Theatre), a stage that was equally popular, had already been discovered, with The Rose being excavated in 1989. But there is still a dearth of information about these theatres. It has become quite the talk of London, now that it gives us a good chance to look at the remains directly, as opposed to relying on circumstantial evidence from the relative vicinity of the theatre sites.

After the research of The Theatre gains head way, it is apparently being scheduled for the site to be preserved while a new, different theatre is built on that same site, much like what has been done for The Rose. It seems that there's a new tourist attraction in London.

Seiko Matsui, Producer
(translated by Mr Shin Kosuge)
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For English readers
"Shakespeare on the other side of the Globe..." Cambridge University Pembroke Players Japan Tour 2008 will perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream" around Japan. The link at the bottom of each article will lead you to the English version. Please forgive any inconveniences, articles are being translated backwards one by one... List of ENGLISH articles.
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シェイクスピア劇を通じた日英交流を目指す、ケンブリッジ大学ペンブルックプレイヤーズの今年の来日公演は「夏の夜の夢」。本公式ブログでは公演情報だけでなく舞台制作等裏話も提供していきます!どうぞお楽しみに!   mail
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