Will the Real <i>Cardenio</i> Please Stand Up? Richards’s <i>Cardenio</i> in Cambridge

Richard Proudfoot

in The Quest for Cardenio

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641819
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191749025 | DOI:
Will the Real Cardenio Please Stand Up? Richards’s Cardenio in Cambridge

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This review addresses the bold adaptation of Theobald’s Double Falsehood under the title Cardenio by Bernard Richards that was staged by students of Queens’ College, Cambridge, in March 2009. The contention of Richards that Double Falsehood is rendered narratively incoherent by its omission of several actions led him to write supplementary scenes to explicate the early relations of Julio and Henriquez and to bring into close focus the rape of Violante and the abduction of Leonora from the nunnery in a coffin. The added episodes greatly extend the role of Henriquez, though perhaps more in the sado-religiose spirit of the Gothic novel than of early eighteenth-century theatre. An accident-prone winter date for the performances robbed the cast of its Duke, and led to the transformation of Camillo into Camilla, but the actors rose to the occasion and fully vindicated their hazardous enterprise.

Keywords: Double Falsehood; Cardenio; Bernard Richards; Queens’ College; adaptation; performance; rape

Chapter.  1739 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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