dumb show


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dumb show,

a theatrical pantomime included as part of a drama, especially in Elizabethan works, from the middle of the 16th cent. well into the 17th cent. Whether presented as a spectacle, with music, or as a masque with the players as allegorical characters, the dumb show appeared as prologue, between the acts, or during the play itself. It usually either presaged the events of the play or interpreted them as a chorus does.

dumb show

a part of a play acted in pantomime, popular in early English drama
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But as the common folk could not understand what was said, the plays were chiefly shown in dumb show.
In dumb show I had to order him to stay where he was, to leave my man to me.
He was an excellent coach in dumb show and joined in the games sometimes to demonstrate points about the game.
Conducted by Christopher Molcrzewski, the 17-piece orchestra sounded ragged; obtruded, meanwhile, was a dumb show involving a workaholic, a computer terminal and some comic business.
Anthony Dowell makes the same mistake as the High Brahmin, delivering a melodramatic dumb show as if flashing eyes and upright posture will fool us into believing in a character in whom he doesn't believe himself.
The latter problem, of course, was solved long ago by Dover Wilson who maintained that Claudius does not see the dumb show performed because he is distracted by entertaining his guests.
in the third dumb show, where the departure encompasses the loss of
In the play's second dumb show, the royal spectator is confronted with an 'Irishman' with 'long black shagged hair down to his shoulders, apparelled with an Irish jacket and shirt, having an Irish dagger by his side, and a dart in his hand'.
Meanwhile, Horatio, blandly portrayed by Matt D'Amico, sits on the edge of the stage reading the acting troupe's foul papers, eyes the king's reactions, and registers his initial skepticism until after the dumb show.
We're not allowed to talk to the prisoners, but there is a scene where the prisoners come up to the fence and they've got a great big book of banners and slogans, and they turn the pages in a kind of dumb show of protest without anybody breaking the rules about talking.
Both productions employed vaudeville elements: the dumb show in Hamlet was exaggerated (and even funny) while Rosencrantz's concluding bit of metatheatre was cinematic and eerie.
In the scene on the left, a traditional commedia company has come to town and is drumming up business with a dumb show, an abbreviated version of the performance they're doing that night.