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First Folio

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Cast list for 20 players (Original FF cast)

This cast list for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the original cast list used for the first First Folio production. It requires a cast of 20 speaking players. You can play-read this casting, though some parts will be rather small, or you could perform the prodcution. Players-Shakespeare.com’s MFFEV5 edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream provides castings for 6 to 12 playreaders and  this casting for 20 players. The roles for each player are shown …Read More

Let’s Explore: Polonius the state councillor – and father

If you haven’t tried out our  techniques of using ‘Parts and Cues’ and ‘Highlit Text’ to explore a Shakespeare character, then you’ll find it helpful to read the detailed explanation we give for the character Hamlet (click on Let’s Explore Hamlet). . You can explore any Shakespearean character in a play  published by Players-Shakespeare.com in a similar way. Here we help you explore Polonius, the state councillor, the king’s right-hand man, and …Read More

Let’s Explore Hamlet with Parts and Cues and Highlit Text

In this post, I want to show you how you can use Parts and Cues and Highlit Text to explore a character in a Shakespeare play, and the character we’re going to explore is Hamlet himself. If you get familiar with this example, you’ll be able to explore any character in any of the plays we’ve published. . We ‘re going to start that exploration in ‘Parts and Cues’ mode for …Read More

2017 is here & play-reading is easier.

As 2017 gets going, we’ve just made Shakespeare play-reading a whole lot easier. This came about from a test we ran with home-schoolers in the summer of 2016. We learnt a lot from that and those learnings are embedded in what we’ve done. . We think our new play-reading method will be attractive to young and old: as a fun introduction to Shakespeare for the young  being educated at home, …Read More

First version (5.00) of Antony and Cleopatra published

It’s summer time, and we’re having far too much fun deepening the channel between the UK and Europe, and changing all our UK political leaders, to be bothered with running play-readings or reviewing Shakespeare plays. However we are still editing more Shakespeare plays into our online format (MFFEV5) preparing for play-readings in the autumn, etc, and we’ve just published our first version of Antony and Cleopatra in MFFEV5 format, ready for a play-reading …Read More

As You Like It – June’s Play of the Month

It’s the beginning of June and so there is a new ‘Play of the Month’ for you. It’s As You Like It. We’ve upgraded to the text to improve spelling, convert to modern punctuation, and implement ‘shared lines’, and expanded the number of cast lists we provide.  This should make the text much easier to use for lots of different groups. We’ve found more ways of using our casting software to suit …Read More

Playreading Report: Macbeth, Edinburgh, 8th May

We held our last play-reading of this season (September – April)  last Sunday,  reading  Macbeth, and out of that comes this play-reading report. Preparing the text of Macbeth for our play-reading was a real struggle. The main difficulty was the extensive use of Shared lines, which has a knock-on effect on the structure of the other lines in a speech. There were considerable differences between the structure of these lines in our OUP-derived First …Read More

Playreading Report: Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2

I’ve been editing Macbeth this last little while, to get it ready for our Play of the Month. We only do minimal editing: modernising spelling, punctuation, and implementing ‘shared lines’. But in Macbeth, the verse lines are often irregular; the shared lines complex; and it makes it difficult to decide how to present it. I’m sure we haven’t got it exactly right, but I hope what we’ve done is usable – and …Read More

Macbeth: Play of the Month and How to put on a successful production

It’s time for a new ‘Play of the Month’, and this month it’s Macbeth. The sidebar to the right of this post will show you the five intense scenes we’ve chosen for small groups (2 – 7) to play, and below tha,t the different cast lists we’ve provided for 8 through 10 players (the cast lists for 8 and 10 are performable), and the original King’s Men cast list which needs 28. …Read More

One small step for a web-site – one giant leap for Shakespeare-online!

Last week, along with a few million others around the globe, we thought we’d mark Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. Amongst the other things we did (see Keep Celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary), we thought it might be fun to produce a way of casting a Shakespeare play so that it could be performed on stage, We managed to produce a casting of  our online, interactive,  As You Like It for 11 players …Read More