Today we publish both The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet in our MFFEV5 format, which allows you to configure and read the plays in Parts and Cues, or Highlit Text, or in Standard, formats. The printing presses are red-hot churning out copies of these two plays to meet the demand! So one month after launch of MFFEV5 edition, we’ve published 9 (or 25%) of the First Folio. This bodes well to us getting most of the rest of the First Folio plays published in 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and the 452 anniversary of his birth.
Let me say a little about each play.
For The Taming of the Shrew, we’ve published play-reading castings for 8, 9, 10 or 11 players. It would be best, if you can manage it, to get a group of 10 players together to read the play. There are 10 principal roles so everyone gets a principal role to play. With 8 or 9 readers, two of the players have to talk to themselves in different roles in some scenes, and with 11 players, at least 1 player gets a less-than-ideal part to play.
Of course, if it’s difficult to get 8 – 11 friends together to read the play you can also read the whole play in the conventional way, or explore one particular character’s role in Parts and Cues format, or Highlit Text format – I find this particularly helpful when preparing a role for performance, either in a production, or in a play-reading – see my post on ‘Preparing Malvolio for production‘. For more general help in using our MFFEV5 edition, check out this link.
Hamlet MFFE V5.00
For Hamlet, we’ve published play-reading castings for 7 – 11 players. Again we think 10 players is the ideal number if you can get that number together. There is more flexibility with lower numbers of players – in none of the castings do players have to talk to themselves as different characters in the same scene. But principal characters tend to get put together. Rosencrantz tends to be lumped with Laertes, and Guildenstern with Horatio, or is it the other way round? I never can remember.
Of course, as pointed out for The Taming of the Shrew, you’re not limited to using the online script for play-readings. You can study one character’s role in Parts and Cues, Highlit text, or Standard text formats. Or two or more friends can get together with their own browsers (laptop, tablet, or smartphone – and tablet or smartphone are probably best) and read one or more scenes.
We don’t plan to publish any more plays before the New Year, so we hope you can do with the 9 (25%) of the First Folio that are already published.
We do plan to give you all a Christmas present which should reach you, subject to Post, Internet, and Christmas delivery systems, this coming Friday. Keep a look out for it!
In the mean time, keep playing – and enjoying – Shakespeare.
Don’t forget – for feedback on the MFFEV5, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
See more about Parts and Cues on our Playreading Page.