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Playreading report: Toronto Shakespeare Workshop – Coriolanus Act II, 7th March

As we started today, there was a brief discussion about how the part of Coriolanus is so often played without warmth or charisma – and that surely Shakespeare had a good deal of empathy for a man who held so firmly to his sense of honour. Certainly, reflected through the lens of his relationship with his fellow officers, Titus Lartius and Cominius, and his mother, Volumnia, and close friend, Menenius, …Read More

Playreading Report: Toronto Shakespeare Workshop – Hamlet Act I (11th Jan 2015)

Hamlet: Act I What hasn’t already been said about Hamlet isn’t fit to be written. It was with some trepidation that I cracked open this text – but also with a great deal of excitement. Here was a chance for everyone to get a shot at possibly the greatest – certainly the longest – role in Shakespeare; also, of course, the array of characters alongside the Prince of Denmark. We …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