Notre Dame

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Notre Dame





Subj:London Theatre

Here We Come !


Date: Wed, Mar 14, 2012 9:41 pm.
Pacific Daylight Saving Time

Hello, Kato !

We’ve returned now from our whirlwind theatre tour of London… whew!
I’m exhausted and recouperating, but it was a good experience overall.
We managed ten plays in the same number of days, different venues and different themes.
Overall, I’d say they were no more superior than what is offered right here in Vancouver.

Before we left, we saw “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and a few weeks before that we saw Dostoesky’s “The Idiot” at UBC.


“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

at Vancouver Playhouse

Both were very professional and provacative and exciting.
But we did see a wonderful play about Shakespeare’s life after retirement called inexplicably “Bingo.”
Shakespeare was played by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame and he did a fabulous job.

I could go on and on about the plays, of course, and the city itself and Covent Gardens and Hamstead Heath and Borough’s Market and Carnagy Street and Picadilly Circus and St.Paul’s Cathedral and the museums and pubs and such, but it would take too long.

My boyfriend was great for the most part (a bit of a know-it-all sometimes) and tried to make sure it was a good experience for me.
He’s not as good to travel with as my Bob was, but guess I’ll have to put more effort into training him, don’t you think?

I enjoyed the interesting clips you found there on Fatal Attraction.
Certainly, it was one movie that stayed with us all, don’t you think?
Who knows how many hundreds of thousand of possible straying husbands?
God it was scary.

Fatal Attraction (Trailer)


I never thought about the Madame Butterfly theme, but can see it now.
Michael Douglas looks so young in those clips, so does Glen Close.
Here in Vancouver, I saw Glen just recently in the film Albert Nobbs and she was excellent, truly excellent in that role.

So when is the end not the end?
I never knew that what we saw was actually the second ending.
All considered, they made the right decision to change the ending I would say.
It is such a powerful, powerful film.
Thanks for digging up this juicy information, Kato.


“Fatal Attraction’s” Alternate Ending

I sent you a cool postcard from London, and loved the stamps I got which were designed especially for postcards and are really brilliant in my opinion.
Of course, I do have a thing for postcards so that could be just my opinion.

Thanks for all of this,
Will see you soon I hope at (of course) the VPL

Love, Diane ~

Welcome back, Diane.

Thank you, Kato… I’m very glad to be here with you.

My pleasure…so, Diane, you saw “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at Vancouver Playhouse before you hit the road to London, didn’t you?

Yes, I did.

How did you like it?

Oh, marvellous!… so exciting!…I wish you’d been there with me.

I know…I know…

How do you know?

Well…I read one of the audience reviews.

Tell me about it, Kato.

It goes like this:


“I have to thank you so much for an incredible evening last night at opening night of Hunchback. The production was absolutely incredible.

Craig and I were so impressed by those hugely talented performers and also by the creativity displayed in the sets and costumes.

It was a wonderfully progressive and contemporary production of an old classic (that I had never seen before – gasp!)… I took great pleasure seeing the due pride and excitement on the performers’ faces as they took their bows.

They knew it was an awesome show and they earned ALL of the applause!”

SOURCE: “Reviews for the hunchback”

At first, I thought you’d jotted it down.

What made you think so?

…’Cause you told me exactly the same review.

Kato, don’t you like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”?

Yes, of course, I do.  Everybody seems to enjoy the play or the movie for that matter.

“The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”

The story begins on Epiphany (6 January), 1482, the day of the ‘Feast of Fools’ in Paris, France.


Quasimodo, the deformed hunchback bell-ringer of Notre Dame, is introduced by his crowning as King of Fools.


Esmeralda, a beautiful Gypsy with a kind and generous heart, captures the hearts of many men, including those of a Captain Phoebus and a poor street poet, Pierre Gringoire, but especially those of Quasimodo and his adoptive father, Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame.

Frollo is torn between his obsessive love and the rules of the church.
He orders Quasimodo to kidnap her, but the hunchback is suddenly captured by Phoebus and his guards who save Esmeralda.
Quasimodo is sentenced to be flogged and turned on the pillory for one hour, followed by another hour’s public exposure.
He calls for water.
Esmeralda, seeing his thirst, offers him a drink.
It saves him, and she captures his heart.

Esmeralda is later charged with the attempted murder of Phoebus, whom Frollo actually attempted to kill in jealousy, after seeing him about to have sex with Esmeralda, and is tortured and sentenced to death by hanging.
As she is being led to the gallows, Quasimodo swings down by the bell rope of Notre Dame and carries her off to the cathedral under the law of sanctuary.
Clopin, a street performer, rallies the Truands (criminals of Paris) to charge the cathedral and rescue Esmeralda.

Frollo asks the king to remove Esmeralda’s right to sanctuary so she can no longer seek shelter in the church and will be taken from the church and killed.
When Quasimodo sees the Truands, he assumes they are there to hurt Esmeralda, so he drives them off.
Likewise, he thinks the King’s men want to rescue her, and tries to help them find her.
She is rescued by Frollo and her phony husband, Gringoire.

But after yet another failed attempt to win her love, Frollo betrays Esmeralda by handing her to the troops and watches while she is being hanged.
When Frollo laughs during Esmeralda’s hanging, Quasimodo pushes him from the heights of Notre Dame to his death.
Quasimodo then goes to the vaults under the huge gibbet of Montfaucon, and lies next to Esmeralda’s corpse, where it had been unceremoniously thrown after the execution.

He stays at Montfaucon, and eventually dies of starvation.
About eighteen months later, the tomb is opened, and the skeletons are found.
As someone tries to separate them, Quasimodo’s bones turn to dust.

SOURCE: “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, you know the story, don’t you?

Yes, of course, I do.  It’s a world-famous novel written by Victor Hugo.  It was published in 1831. In the English-speaking world, it is known by that title, but in French it means “Our Lady of Paris (Notre-Dame de Paris).”  So, naturally, the story is centered around the Notre Dame Cathedral—one of the largest and most well-known cathedrals in the world.


But you seem to be against the above review.

You know, Diane, I was kinda preoccupied with the 1939 movie:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Trailer (1939)


So, you like this movie more than any play or any other film, don’t you?

Yes, I do.

How come?

Well… simply ‘cause I saw this movie for the first time in my life as far as “The Hunchback story” is concerned.

So, this old classic has imprinted the unforgettable impression on your mind ever since, hasn’t it?

You’re right on, Diane.  I like Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O’Hara as Esmeralda.


The 1939 film is considered by some reviewers to be the best of the many film versions of Victor Hugo’s classic novel.

Do you think so, too?

Yes, I do.  As a matter of fact, this movie later strongly influenced the 1996 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation.


1996 Animation Trailer

But kato, do you know that the 1939 movie is quite fifferent from the original novel?

Oh…quite different?…in what way?

Well… The main differences are that Esmeralda and Quasimodo remain alive at the end, unlike in the novel, in which Esmeralda is hanged and Quasimodo is presumed dead, but two years later a hunchback skeleton is found at her grave site.

Is that right?

Besides, the character of Frollo was heavily changed.  Instead of being an archdeacon, he is a judge and a close advisor of King Louis XI, while in the novel they do not meet each other.  Frollo’s death was portrayed close to the original one, but a major difference is that in the novel he was watching Esmeralda’s execution when Quasimodo killed him.

Oh, was he?

Furthermore, Phoebus, who is only wounded by Frollo in the novel, is killed by him in this 1939 film version.  Therefore, as in the novel, Esmeralda is wrongly accused for the crime, but her attraction for Phoebus is not explored by the film after the incident.

I see…

The personal history of Esmeralda is ignored by the film.  In the novel, it is revealed that she was not born as a gypsy and her mother is a recluse in Paris.  In the film, her mother is not portrayed and neither is her background.

Gee… Amazing!… Diane, you’re quite knowlegeable.

At the end of the film, Esmeralda is pardoned and is freed from hanging and then leaves with Gringoire and a huge crowd out of the public square.  In the novel, Gringoire left Esmeralda with Frollo capturing her and saves her goat instead, resulting in Esmeralda’s death.  The film also makes it clear that Esmeralda eventually comes to love Gringoire, whereas in the novel, she merely tolerates him.

I didn’t know that you’re such a keen reseacher and cinefile.

Don’t pull my leg, Kato.  You can easily obtain such infomation on the Net.

Tell me, Diane, if the hunchback was based on the real figure at the time or not.

Good point, Kato,… well, In 2010, British archivist Adrian Glew discovered references to a real-life hunchback who was a foreman of a government sculpting studio in Paris in the 1820s.  This person worked on post-Revolution restorations to the Cathedral.  Hugo might have picked up this man as a model of Quasimodo.

I see…

You know, Kato, it was the first novel to have beggars as protagonists.  Besides, it was the fist fiction to encompass the whole of life, from the King of France to Paris sewer rats, in a manner later co-opted by Balzac, Flaubert and many others, including Dickens. The enormous popularity of the book in France spurred the nascent historical preservation movement in that country and strongly encouraged Gothic revival architecture.  Ultimately it led to major renovations at Notre-Dame in the 19th century led by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.  Much of the cathedral’s present appearance is a result of this renovation.

Quite interesting!

Furthermore, the name Quasimodo has become synonymous with “a courageous heart beneath a grotesque exterior.”

Diane, you just reminds me of the 1980 film “Elephant man.”


Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), a surgeon at the London Hospital, discovers John Merrick (John Hurt) in a Victorian freak show in London’s East End, where he is managed by the brutish Bytes (Freddie Jones).

Merrick is so deformed that he must wear a hood and cap when in public, and Bytes claims he is an imbecile.
Treves is professionally intrigued by Merrick’s condition and pays Bytes to bring him to the Hospital so that he can examine him. There, Treves presents Merrick to his colleagues in a lecture theatre, displaying him as a physiological curiosity.
Treves draws attention to Merrick’s most life-threatening deformity, his oversized skull, which compels him to sleep with his head resting upon his knees, as the weight of his skull would asphyxiate him if he were to ever lie down.

The ward nurses are horrified by Merrick’s appearance, so Treves places him in a quarantine room under the watchful care of the formidable matron, Mrs. Mothershead (Wendy Hiller).
Mr. Carr-Gomm (John Gielgud), the hospital’s Governor, is reluctant to house Merrick (who has thus far remained mute), as the hospital is not designed as a residence for “incurables”.
To persuade Carr-Gomm that Merrick has potential, Treves coaches him to recite a few polite phrases. Carr-Gomm sees through the ruse, but as he walks away, both men are astonished to hear Merrick recite the 23rd Psalm. Shocked by this display of intelligence, Carr-Gomm allows Merrick to remain.

Merrick is gradually revealed to be sophisticated and articulate.
Carr-Gomm arranges a suite of rooms for him to reside in at the hospital, and Merrick passes his days reading, drawing and making a model of a church visible through his window. One day, Treves brings him to take afternoon tea at home together with his wife, Ann (Hannah Gordon).
Merrick, overwhelmed by the familial love he perceives in the domesticity about him, shows them his most treasured possession, a picture of his mother, and expresses his wish that she would love him if she could only see what “lovely friends” he now has.


Phoebe Nicholls as John’s mother

Later, Merrick begins to receive society visitors in his rooms, including the celebrated actress Madge Kendal (Anne Bancroft).


Anne Bancroft

He becomes a popular object of curiosity and charity to high society.
As these connections and visits increase, Mrs. Mothershead (who has charge of Merrick’s daily care) complains to Treves that he is still being treated as a freak show attraction, albeit in a more upper class, celebrated style.

Bytes abducts Merrick to continental Europe, where he is once again put on show and subjected to cruelty and neglect. Treves, consumed with guilt over Merrick’s plight, takes action against the night porter with the help of Mrs. Mothershead.

Merrick escapes with the help of his fellow freak show attractions, and makes it back to London. However, he is harassed by a group of boys at Liverpool Street station, and accidentally knocks down a young girl. He is chased, unmasked, and cornered by an angry mob, at which point he cries out: “I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I … am … a … man!”, before collapsing. When the police return Merrick to the hospital, he is reinstated to his rooms.

He recovers a little but it is soon clear he is dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a treat, Mrs. Kendal arranges an evening at the musical theatre.
Resplendent in white tie, he rises in the Royal Box to an ovation, having had the performance dedicated to him from Mrs Kendal.

That night, back at the hospital, Merrick thanks Treves for all he has done and finishes his model of the nearby church. Imitating one of his sketches on the wall—a sleeping child—he removes the pillows that have allowed him to sleep in an upright position, lies down on his bed and dies, consoled by a vision of his mother, Mary Jane Merrick, quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Nothing will Die”.

The Elephant Man

1980 Film Trailer

SOURCE: “The Elephant Man (film)”
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Do you like “The Elephant Man” more than “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”?

Well… I like both movies, but the elephant man impressed me greatly.

Oh…? Like what?

At the end, Merrick’s mother is smiling beautifully, staring at the camera, reminding Merrick, called “John,” and reminding me that nothing will die.  Death is not an ending.  It is just another change.   He could move from a nightmare to a dream.

I see… the name Quasimodo has become synonymous with “a courageous heart beneath a grotesque exterior.”  So, Kato, how about the name John Merrick?

Well,… I’d say, the name John Merrick has become synonymous with “a noble heart beneath a grotesque exterior.”

【Himiko’s Monologue】

The elephant man’s real name is not John Merrick, but Joseph Merrick.
He was born in Leicester and began to develop abnormally during the first few years of his life.
His skin appeared thick and lumpy.
He developed an enlargement of his lips, and a bony lump grew on his forehead.
One of his arms and both feet became enlarged and at some point during his childhood he fell and damaged his hip, resulting in permanent lameness.

When he was 11, his mother died and his father soon remarried.
Merrick left school at 12, and had difficulty finding employment.
Rejected by his father and stepmother, he left home.

In 1884, Merrick contacted a showman named Sam Torr and proposed that Torr should exhibit him. Torr agreed, and arranged for a group of men to manage Merrick, whom they named the Elephant Man.

In any case, I’d like to meet my “Romeo”—a decent man in my future life.
How come I’m always a loner?
I wish I could meet a nice gentleman at the library in my town as Diane met Kato.
Well, they say, there is a way where there is a will.

I hope Kato will write another interesting article.
So please come back to see me.

Have a nice day!
Bye bye …

If you’ve got some time,

Please read one of the following artciles:

“Hello Diane!”

“I wish you were there!”

“Jane Eyre”

“Jane Eyre Again”

“Jane Eyre in Vancouver”

“Jane Eyre Special”

“Love & Death of Cleopatra”

“Nice Story”


“Spiritual Work or What?”

“What a coincidence!”

“Wind and Water”

“Yoga and Happiness”

“You’re in a good shape”




“Net Travel & Jane”

“Net Love”

“Complicated Love”

“Electra Complex”

“Net Début”

“Inner World”

“Madame Riviera and Burger”

“Roly-poly in the North”

“Amazing Grace”

“Diane in Paris”

“Diane in Montmartre”

“Diane Well Read”

“Wantirna South”

“Maiden’s Prayer”


“Squaw House and Melbourne Hotel”

“Tulips and Diane”

“Diane in Bustle Skirt”

“Diane and Beauty”

“Lady Chatterley and Beauty”

“Victorian Prudery”

“Diane Chatterley”

“From Canada to Japan”

“From Gyoda to Vancouver”

“Film Festival”

“Madame Taliesin”

“Happy Days”

“Vancouver Again”


“Midnight in Vancouver”

“Madame Lindbergh”

“Dead Poets Society”

“Letters to Diane”

“Taliesin Studio”

“Wright and Japan”

“Taliesin Banzai”

“Memrory Lane to Sendai”

“Aunt Sleepie”

“Titanic @ Sendai”



“Roly-poly in the wild”

“Silence is dull”

“Zen and Chi Gong”

“Piano Lesson”

“Dangerous Relation”

“Electra Complex”


“Covent Garden”

“Fatal Relation”

Hi, I’m June Adames.

Joseph Merrick died on 11 April 1890, aged 27.

The official cause of death was asphyxia, although Treves, who dissected the body, said that Merrick had died of a dislocated neck.

He believed that Merrick, who had to sleep sitting up because of the weight of his head, had been attempting to sleep lying down, to be like other people.

The exact cause of Merrick’s deformities is unclear.

The dominant theory throughout much of the 20th century was that Merrick suffered from neurofibromatosis type I.

In 1986, a new theory emerged that he had Proteus syndrome.

In 2001 it was proposed that Merrick had suffered from a combination of neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome.

DNA tests conducted on his hair and bones have proven inconclusive.

In 1979, Bernard Pomerance’s play about Merrick called The Elephant Man débuted and David Lynch’s film, also called The Elephant Man, was released the following year.







『軽井沢タリアセン夫人 – 小百合物語』





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