SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT SHAKESPEARE’S (K)NIGHT AT THE FIGHTS
January 24, 2004 - Amherst, MA
Shakespeare’s heroes and heroines are notably good talkers, but as anyone knows who has been to a performance of one of his plays, sooner or later there will be a fight. Choice of weapons may vary from rapier to broadsword to fisticuffs to roundhouse punches to unparalleled insults, with men and women, kings and fools, bawds and beauties giving as good as they get with great gusto. What more natural then, than the presentation of Shakespeare’s (K)night at the Fights by the Hampshire Shakespeare Company for its annual mid-winter fund-raiser on Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21 at 7:30 PM in the A.P.E. performance space, third floor, Thornes Market at 150 Main Street in Northampton.
Tickets for (K)night at the Fights are $12, and will be sold at the door, or may be reserved by calling (413) 253-7205. Flayvors of Cooks Farm will offer aptly-named ice cream sandwiches for intermission treats in keeping with HSC’s summer tradition. Shakespearean insults, catcalls, derogatory remarks and other politically incorrect fare will be on sale throughout the evening, and partisanship and rowdy fan behavior (from the sidelines!) will be encouraged. More information about the show can be found on the HSC web site, www.hampshireshakespeare.org.
This full evening of scenes both predictable and unexpected will include classic confrontations, such as the deadly duel between Hamlet and Laertes, Shrew’s Katherine mixing it up with Petruchio, and Twelfth Night’s Viola being initiated into the ‘manly’ art of self-defense against Sir Andrew. Thundering hordes, psychological wrecks, cowering heroes, overpowering heroines – all will play their parts in this evening with never a dull moment. The University of Massachusetts A.R.M.S. (Association for Renaissance and Medieval Swordsmanship) group will present a demonstration of the non-Hollywood version of what it was like to battle opponents with swords based on historic evidence.
The evening’s fight scenes all are choreographed by well-known Fight Director Jeff Lord. Jeff has been practicing and teaching various martial arts disciplines for almost 20 years. His experience includes over 13 years as Head Fencing Coach at Hampshire College, with additional work as Head Fencing Coach at Amherst and Smith Colleges. He has provided instruction in stage combat at numerous theaters and schools throughout New England, and has been a certified member of the Society of American Fight Directors. He also spent two years in Japan studying Japanese sword arts, and there earned the shodan (first degree) rank in both Kendo and Iaido. He currently teaches Meyer's German longsword technique at the Higgins Armory museum in Worcester MA, and is a co-founder of the Sword Guild there. Jeff is one of only six members of the European Historical Combat Guild in North America.