Category Archives: what fools these mortals be

i’ve got shakespeare induced giggles

literary studies gone underground

just one question – i know my shakespeare – why is lavinia not only daughter, but also warrior and villain? – warrior, ok, she keeps on fighting, but villain? – come on, the girl gets raped and mutilated and her lover killed off – that’s just not right, she’s the victim, not the villain and where’s her lover – just because bassianus dies there’s no reason, he shouldn’t be on here – romeo and juliet are – so, great idea, but somehow there’s at least this one mistake and some more lovers and heroes wouldn’t hurt either

shakespeare, love, italy, stubborn grand-son, long-lost lovers, pasta, ice-cream, love-letters, horses, wine , sunshine – sounds like a movie for the romantic that’s hidden in each and every one of us

so, tonight, for the third time – it’s shakespeare at the DT with steffi – i can see a pattern here

first there was “The Tempest” – often classified as a comedy, even though it’s something else as well – something more, shall we agree? – and, incidentally one of my favourites

then, there was “Richard III” – definitively a history – not so much a favourite of mine, too complicated, too many dead, too boring all in all – but a great ilja richter made it a night at the plays to remember – read, what steffi had to say: Richard III at

and tonight it’s “King Lear” – a tragedy and, incidentally, my first shakespeare, read at the tender age of sixteen, while in english class in canada – five acts, reading one act a week and then taking a test – my, my, the first test was a desaster, but as i mastered the english language, i also mastered shakespearean language – my test results got better and better in an amazingly short time and my love for shakespeare and the tragedies was raised ad infinitum

this has been by far the most enjoyable night at a theater in quite a while – the words of the bard combined with rufus wainwright’s music and robert wilson’s perfect ability to create a mood on stage through lightning, directing and choosing perfect actors for perfect parts – two and a half hours slipped by and i never noticed, i was enraptured by the music, the dancing, the acting and the undying words of shakespeare – there can be no better way to celebrate 400 years sonnets than that

shadows, large, small, loud, bright, silent, just a whisper, then loud and overwhelming – saucy fool, majestic queen, a dark lady, a light youth, a great poet, a nasty rival, a little (or not so much so) love-good – a whirlwind of emotions created through references to different music through the ages – so suddenly you feel directly plunged into brecht’s threepenny opera, the world of french chansons, baroque finery, swoony-cheesy love ballads or pop-art musicals – every lover of good music and shakespeare will be as ardently in love with it as me – i would watch it again and again and again until i have no more tears left to shed, no more laughs left to laugh and all my energy is spent – a gripping experience for all senses – a feast for body, mind and soul

and in the end this is all that can be said (or sung)

to be released december 28th 2009 – too bad, i won’t be able to import it directly – ah well, wherefore have we amazon?



David To Reprise Role Of Hamlet For BBC

David has signed up to reprise his role of Hamlet for BBC Two.

He will be joined by key cast members from the RSC production, including Patrick Stewart as Claudius.

BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow said the 180-minute screen production of Hamlet was “a wonderful opportunity to bring one of the great stage successes of last year to a wider audience”.

Tickets for the stage performances, which opened in Stratford-Upon-Avon and later moved to London, sold out in hours.

After his debut appearance, the Guardian called Tennant the “best Hamlet in years”.

In February his return to the stage as Hamlet was named the event of the year in the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.

The full press release from the RSC can be seen below:

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s award-winning production of Hamlet, directed by RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran, and with David Tennant in the title role, will premiere on BBC Two later this year.

Produced by Illuminations, the screen version of Shakespeare’s great tragedy will retain the quality and tone of the critically acclaimed stage production but filming will take place on location. All key original members of the cast, including Patrick Stewart as Claudius, are confirmed to star in this special 180 minute production, alongside the same creative team.

RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd said; “We are very pleased that this RSC production will be seen by so many people when broadcast. As the show was sold out for its entire run, this is a really great opportunity for our work to be seen by so many who could not come to the theatre and see it on stage.”

acf.sizedFilming begins in June for broadcast later this year on BBC Two. Broadcasts in the US and Japan will follow in 2010. Illuminations previously worked with Doran and the RSC on the filmed version of Macbeth with Antony Sher and Harriet Walter. Chris Seager will be in post as Director of Photography; Robert Jones, who designed the stage production, will also design the film and, as on stage, the music is composed by Paul Englishby, the movement director is Mike Ashcroft and the fight director is Terry King.

John Wyver is the producer for Illuminations and Bethan Jones is Executive Producer for BBC Wales. The project was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and George Entwistle, Controller, BBC Knowledge Commissioning.

The director Gregory Doran said “Contrary to press reports at the time, the RSC always had plans to make a recording of this production but had the inevitable long journey in getting the cast together again and securing funding for this project. The Hamlet cast and the RSC are all really delighted that we now have the chance to share this show with audiences around the world, and I would like to thank all those involved in making this plan a reality at last”

Janice Hadlow, Controller BBC Two said “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring one of the great stage successes of last year to a wider audience.”

To support the new film of Hamlet, a rich online BBC site is being created in collaboration with the RSC. It will feature behind-the-scenes stills and footage; specially shot interviews with the actors talking about their characters and how they’ve approached the play; further interviews, with the director and other key backstage personnel; and a comprehensive range of links through to the full depth of BBC Learning’s content on Shakespeare and RSC Education’s content on Shakespeare in performance.

George Entwistle, Controller, BBC Knowledge Commissioning said “We hope we can use our experience in building compelling online sites to encourage a large TV audience to pursue their interest in Hamlet and Shakespeare as far as possible, off the back of a superb TV version of the play.”