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Bubble
-29th March 2004, 19:38
Hey everyone. I don't fence (did it one on an activity holiday thing when I was 10!) and I'm doing a piece of English coursework on Romeo and Juliet. We have to write about how we would stage a scene. In the scene there is a sword fight. I've been looking for information on fencing moves and maybe some diagrams (not sure if I'm allowed to use these and theyre not essential) online but I can only find club websites!
So I found this site through Google and wondered if anyone knows any sites that would help me? I would be very grateful for any help. I'm not sure if this is the right section of the forum to ask in but there's so many boards! Sorry if this is the wrong place.
-Bubble.x

hokers
-29th March 2004, 20:13
Hi Bubble. Do you need stage direction type information like "Romeo enters from stage left, sword in hand, Tybalt backs toward stage right, looking nervous" or are you after ideas on how to enact a duel on stage?

Here's my idea for the latter:
Rather than specifics of every move, you might be better off describing the 'interaction' between the fencers. e.g. first they might carefully watch each other, with a few brief engagements of the blades just testing the waters. Then some more aggressive, but unproductive attacks from each, looking for an opening. Then first blood, an attack that 'deceives the blade' for a light wound. Followed by increasingly desparate defending, ending in the death blow, caused by an obvious mistake by the bad guy :)

or try some of these links:
http://www.stagecombat.com/resources/stagecombat.shtml
http://upstagereview.org/DirectingArticles/fight.pdf (looks quite good)

uk_45
-29th March 2004, 20:16
Hey Yeah what kind of directions do you need.

Also whish fight scene is it there quite a few in Romeo And Julliet! Is it the Mecutio (cant spell it) scene I think it's somthing like Act 3 Scene 3.

Bubble
-30th March 2004, 15:04
Hey. I have to talk about 3scenes. Act 1 Scene 1, wherethere's a brawl between both houses but Tybalt and Benvolio in particular, Act 3 Scene 1 where Tybalt kills Mercutio and then Romeo kills Tybalt, and Act 3 Scene 5 where Romeo kills Paris.

I have to talk about all 3 but one in detail, and it needs to be specific stage directions for the detailed one. Talking about costume, directions, tone of voice, etc.

Thanks, you've been helpful already! I'll check out those links now

-Bubble.x

uk_45
-30th March 2004, 19:10
Ok i'd do act 3 scene 1 in the most detail because its the emptyist stage, i would alos say dig out a GOOD script a cheorgraphers one. Erm how much detail do you have to write the fight blow by blow as it where?

Bubble
-30th March 2004, 19:30
Umm...I'm not sure.

All I've got is a basic script from school. And I'm a little screwed coz I did it ages ago and I'm trying to re-do it, but my laptop keeps freezing and I can't find much basic fencing move information and I have other english essays to change too!!!

ARGH!!!

doobarz
-30th March 2004, 21:34
Seems like your being asked to do overall style for the piece - so are you placing it 'at the time' or modernising it? What costumes will be worn? Will they actually use swords or will you go all Baz Lurmann (sp.)

By all means talk about the sword play, but perhaps say, in your role as director, 'I would ask the fioght director to set the fight in a way that......' and talk about what you want your audinece to feel, shoudl the fight be swift, with the combatants matched in skill, or shoudl one be clearly a better swordsman?

PM me if any of this confuses.

Rdb811
-30th March 2004, 22:22
In Edwardian times theer were sets of standard moves - the 'eights' and the 'tens' were the two actors attack / parry in a low outside line - the latter involved a 'fatal' dtab at the end. There was a charcter calle dthe play saver who would jump on stage if audience interest was flagging and cry to the male lead ' how now, I know what youa are about' and set off into the tens).

Absolutely nothing tod do with your question, BTW.

Bubble
-1st April 2004, 19:48
It has to be modern, but in the Globe Theatre. I'm gonna keep swords and stuff, not make it too modern, because I recon most people go to see shakespeare for the style of it. IMO, it doesn't usually work when people try to modernise Shakespeare!

hokers
-1st April 2004, 19:55
Originally posted by Rdb811
In Edwardian times theer were sets of standard moves -
involved a 'fatal' dtab at the end.
There was a charcter calle dthe
what youa are about
tod do
Few beers Tuesday night Roger? ;)

We saw a mordernised Macbeth when we were at school and they had swords and guns. Didn't work for me I have to say.

Bubble
-1st April 2004, 20:47
I think that it wouldnt work in a play but I've given up as I have hardly any time (have been doing other essays for the last few days) so I'm using guns and stuff. I wouldnt do it if I were actually directing a play but for the sake of the essay it will do!
Thanks for all your help, you guys seem really nice (not as insane as the people from the forum i seem to live in!). Maybe I'll have to lurk occasionally - although I wouldnt really fit in as a forum member since I dont fence!
Thanx again.
-Bubble.x

P.S i read a couple of threads (literally 2 or 3!!!) and you ppl make fencing sound really cool...do you think that a 16year old girl might enjoy it? I have no idea what type of ppl go fencing!!!

Rdb811
-1st April 2004, 22:11
Originally posted by hokers
Few beers Tuesday night Roger? ;)

We saw a mordernised Macbeth when we were at school and they had swords and guns. Didn't work for me I have to say.

I went to Haverstock on Tuesday and slipped a few wet ones afterwards - since there wasn't any water at the venue I was a bit dehydrated and they went straight to me.

i'm now so hyped up after fencing tonight that I won't be able to sleep for a couple of hours.

Rdb811
-1st April 2004, 22:17
Originally posted by Bubble
It has to be modern, but in the Globe Theatre. I'm gonna keep swords and stuff, not make it too modern, because I recon most people go to see shakespeare for the style of it. IMO, it doesn't usually work when people try to modernise Shakespeare!

I well remember a modern dress Macbeth ast the Globe that had every excresence of student theatre - entirely in dinner suits, with rapping witches.

The same director then did a original production (all male cast) that was absolutley brilliant.

iron maiden fan
-2nd April 2004, 06:55
'TIS BUT A SCRATCH :cool: :cool:

hokers
-2nd April 2004, 07:54
Originally posted by Bubble
P.S i read a couple of threads (literally 2 or 3!!!) and you ppl make fencing sound really cool...do you think that a 16year old girl might enjoy it? I have no idea what type of ppl go fencing!!!

Plenty of 16yr old girls fencing already and presumably they enjoy it, or they'd stop. Its something a bit different, and everyone seems to get something out of it. If you want a competitive, skilled sport, or if you want to go along and fence for a laugh, and meet a generally pretty friendly group of people, you could do worse.

Marcos
-2nd April 2004, 08:43
think I can help

last year RTE (Irish BBC) did a production of Romeo & Juliet on the Radio which they performed in an open square in the centre of Dublin.

As the actors were holding their scripts and speaking into microphones, they couldn't do the fight scenes...

...so to get some sound effects and also to givethe live audience something to look at they got myself and a friend to fence sabre on the stage (and paid a tidy sum!)

we developed a small routine that we performed on a loop

1st set of 8 moves ("A" attacks, "B" defends)
2nd set of 8 moves ("B" attacks, "A" defends)
spin around with suitable clashing of blades
repeat on a continuing loop until we hear the prompt for Macucio (or whoever) to get killed off

the fight scenes are all quite fast so doesn't need to be complex.
only the principle characters need to be doing anything interesting - in the crowd fighting scene you can just have some random punters in the background doing a basic loop of moves, similar to what Rdb811 described

:fencingsm :starfight