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Directing Shakespeare

An RSC director’s approach to the ‘The Dream’

Editor’s Introduction: I am very pleased that Aileen Gonsalves, Artistic Director and founder of Butterfly Theatre  (www.butterflytheatre.com),  director at the RSC, and originator of the Gonsalves Method, has agreed to write for Players-Shakespeare.com.   I first met Aileen at the RSC Big Week-end, where she gave a very impressive masterclass on directing, which introduced me (and the other attendees) to the Gonsalves Method. You can read my review of that workshop …Read More

RSC Workshop: Directing Masterclass

Introduction: This workshop was given at the RSC Big Amateur Weekend in The Other Place (the RSC rehearsal spaces)  on the 14th & 15th October. You can get an overview of the week-end’s activity at: RSC Big Amateur Weekend. Note that the picture above is not from our workshop, but from an RSC First Encounters production of The Tempest at the RSC’s Swan Theatre  which Aileen Gonsalves (the workshop leader) …Read More

Review: (*****) RSC Big Amateur Week-end

 Introduction: I had a wonderful week-end on 13th & 14th October, at the RSC Big Amateur Week-en. With perhaps 100 other Amateur / Community Theatre actors  I worked with RSC workshop leaders in four half-day workshops to  build my / our skills in: Acting for the Stage; Movement; Stage Combat; and Voice and Text plus a Directing masterclass. And if that wasn’t enough, we had the opportunity to watch a …Read More

Antony and Cleopatra Cast list for 25 players (original cast)

This cast list is the cast list from the original production by The King’s Men in 1607. It is derived  from T.J.King’s Casting Shakespeare’s Plays – London actors and their roles, 1590 – 1642.   As well as being usable for play-readings or production, the cast list provides useful information for a director thinking about directing the play: Antony and Cleopatra (1607) has a large speaking character list of 59 characters. This …Read More

Review The Globe’s production of The Tempest *****

The Globe’s production of The Tempest is available: As a DVD from Amazon UK  for £13.36 / ~$20.00. It does not seem to be available in the USA The Tempest can also be streamed from The Globe Player for £5.99 / ~$9.00 or purchased and downloaded as an MP4 for £9.99 / ~$15.00 Prices are indicative – check the actual price at the Vendors’ links above. Our Bottom Line: An extraordinary performance, everything one hopes …Read More

Secrets of Acting Shakespeare (*****) with Parts and Cues

Last week our article on ‘Parts and Cues’ stimulated quite a bit of interest. We had more ‘likes’ than usual on Facebook, and quite a few comments. A couple of people whose opinions I respect, recommended that I looked at a book by Patrick Tucker called Secrets of Acting Shakespeare – The Original Approach  (available from Amazon.co.uk for £25 – £45, and from Amazon.com for $25 – $140 – this pricing …Read More

New Playreading Reports: Toronto Shakespeare Workshop + other groups

Welcome to Toronto Shakespeare Workshop!!! We’re pleased to offer a very warm welcome to Toronto Shakespeare Workshop, run by Justin Hay,  as another play-reading group that contributes playreading reports to our web-site. For more details about them, click on  Toronto Shakespeare Workshop. This week we publish four playreading reports of workshops run by Justin in January 2015 on the first four Acts of Hamlet. You can find each of the …Read More

Playreading Report: Toronto Shakespeare Workshop – Hamlet Act IV (2nd Feb 2015)

Hamlet, Act IV, 2nd Feb 2015: Act IV made clear the fact that Hamlet, the play, isn’t a one-man show. Gertrude, Claudius, Ophelia and Laertes all have some terrific scenes in this act – with a range of emotions to play – and a complex set of relationships with our titular anti-hero. The first scene we tackled was between Claudius and Gertrude, immediately following Hamlet’s scene with his mother. Some editions have …Read More

Playreading Report: Toronto Shakespeare Workshop – Hamlet Act III, (25th Jan 2015)

Hamlet: Act III The unpunctuated text for this week proved a little trickier than usual; partly due to its relative unfamiliarity, and partly to its unusual syntax. It was drawn from Hamlet’s flattering words to Horatio: “Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice…” The first scene up was between Hamlet and Ophelia. A couple of thoughts here: we played with the idea that Hamlet was “reading” Ophelia, in …Read More