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If what is meant by any of this is that it is perverse, black comedy, cynical wit--yes.  "Light," "playful,"  where?  The words on the page are about uneasy and frightened women dependent for the rent, and crass men, and the cynical aftermath of war, and murder.
N
 
What does the fact that a woman's college performed it have to do with seeing it as horrific or not?  Women are the ones who are most aware of danger from such men.  Of course they would put it on.  What does one expect?  Light comedy and cheerleading?
 
I'm astonished and offended at this notion that a horror story about death, a corpse in lysol, and terror can be treated "lightly" because it is just about a murdered woman.  Frankly, you are the last person I expected to add to such a notion.
Nancy

>>> "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> 07/18/09 8:30 PM >>> 
Peter Montgomery wrote: 
> 
> Don't think he felt like killing a woman, but then Sweeney doesn't 
> exactlly demo. that except in a playful way. He did happen to know 
> someone like that, as I am sure, did Jesus. 

I don't see Sweeney being playful describing the death but more matter 
of fact. Still, there is a lighter tone throughout the play. There are 
the names, repetition and rhythm leading to that. 

However, that is what I'm getting from the words on a page. In a 
performance there are so many things that lead to an impression: in 
direction, lighting, stage design, customes, timing, and actor's 
inflections, tone and mannerisms. Even program notes and audience 
reaction (think of "The Producers".) 

Lyndall Gordon sees horror in "Sweeney Agonistes" and she wrote that 
Vivienne Eliot did also. On the other hand, one of the first 
performances, if not the first, was by Vassar College, a women's 
college. 

Regards, 
Rick Parker