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How to run a Shakespeare play-reading

We encourage people to run Shakespeare play-readings. From our own experience they can be enormous fun, and enrich your understanding of the play. . If you are thinking of running play-readings, we think you should use our MFFEV5 plays online. They’re based on around 10 years experience of running play-readings; they offer innovataive ways of exploring the plays, they’re  easy to run and read, and they’re free. . To run an …Read More

Shakespeare’s use of Blank Verse (The Merchant of Venice)

We’ve said that Shakespeare provides pointers  to an actor on how to play a speech. He does this in many ways, and in this post we’re going to focus on how he uses blank verse to provide such pointers. Of course the player can choose to ignore these pointers and say the speech as thought appropriate, but, it is at the very least, interesting to see what Shakespeare is suggesting. …Read More

Hamlet A3S2 ‘Speak the speech, I pray you…’

Hamlet (in A3S2) tells the newly-arrived Players how he wants them to act the speech which he has inserted into The Mousetrap to test whether Claudius feels guilty about Hamket’s father’s death. . Now it’s usually not usually safe to assume that Shakespeare feels personally the emotions that he puts into the speeches of his characters. Macbeth may be feeling complete despair when he comes to the ‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and …Read More

Playreading Report: Twelfth Night, Edinburgh, 7th May

This is the fourth play-reading of Twelfth Night  which we’ve run since we started our play-reading group nearly four years ago. This may be because it’s one of my favourite plays, though in each case I had a reason why we needed to playread it. This time it was because we had just converted the play to our latest format, and added an index to the play so you can easily access …Read More

How to make a Video Reading

Overview: If you’ve watched and listened to some of our Video Readings, you may want to record a Video Reading yourself. And when you’ve recorded it, you can send it to Players-Shakespeare.com for us to evaluate if we’ll publish it. This is what you have to do: Select one or more scenes to record – you can find candidate scenes in our “Let’s Play” menu on Players-Shakespeare.com Record your version of the scene …Read More

Video Reading: Love’s Labour’s Lost: A3S1 ‘And I, forsooth, in love!’

I wanted to make a Video Reading of this monologue by Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost, because I think it’s very funny, but very difficult for the actor to make it ‘come off’. . Berowne is one of the four members of the court of Navarre who have sworn not to fall in love whilst they study for a year. Berowne has fallen in love with Rosline, and is both disgusted,  and …Read More

Romeo and Juliet: A2S2 The Balcony Scene

A Video Reading of The Balcony Scene (A2S2) of Romeo and Juliet: This Video Reading is of the whole scene of A2S2 (The Balcony Scene) of Romeo and Juliet – excluding the Nurse’s two or three lines. . Both Romeo and Juliet are played by Eliza Langland. We’ve tweaked the sound to reduce the pitch for Romeo’s lines, and made them a little higher for Juliet’s lines. An interesting experiment! After you’ve …Read More

Twelfth Night A2S5 Malvolio finds a letter

A2S5 of Twelfth Night  is a favourite comic scene with audiences. In it, Malvolio finds a letter, left by Maria, which purports to come from Olivia, the lady of the house of which Malvolio is the steward, +which says that she is in love with Malvolio. He reads the letter, with Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian listening to him from within / behind a box hedge. . The humour of the …Read More