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Directing Shakespeare

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

Playreading Report: Toronto Shakespeare Workshop – Hamlet Act II, (18th Jan 2015)

Hamlet: Act II The ritualized unpunctuated text exercise this week was drawn from Claudius’ welcoming Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. It was relatively obscure enough and filled with suitably tricky sub-clauses to pose a bit of a challenge. For the first scene we turned again to Ophelia and Polonius, with a distraught Ophelia telling her father of Hamlet’s strange behaviour. After some initial difficulty in visualizing what Hamlet was actually doing to …Read More

Measure for Measure MFFE published with notes on James I’s involvement in the play

The Festive Season is over, but I hope it is not too late to wish you all a Very Happy New Year!!! Just before the holidays, I was about to publish Measure for Measure, but I got stuck. I couldn’t make head nor tail of what the Duke was doing in the play. He has 839 lines in our MFFE edition, more than King Lear, and nearly twice as much as …Read More

Masterclasses from RSC, NT-Live and Globe video clips

I thought we might have a little fun today, instead of our usual, intense, serious, study. So let’s use some of the wonderful video clips that The Globe, NT-Live, and the RSC provide to advertise their shows to see if they’re at all useful to students of Shakespeare (as well as being fun to watch). If this idea goes down well,  some of you want more, and we might run …Read More

Review: Propeller’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘The Comedy of Errors’

What a wonderful way to spend Easter – to discover a ‘new’ theatre company with wonderful productions of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘ and ‘The Comedy of Errors‘. The company is ‘Propeller’ which is new to me, even though it has been going since 1997. If it’s new to you, and you’re interested in  Shakespeare, you need to know more about them. They  were in Edinburgh over Easter and we were lucky …Read More