logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: the-play-s-the-thing
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-26 20:27
Hamlet / William Shakespeare
Hamlet (Cambridge School Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,Rex Gibson,Richard Andrews

I went to an encore screening of Hamlet, starring Benedict Cumberbatch this weekend.  I went in a bit skeptical, thinking that he might be a bit too old to be playing the part of a young man in university, but he won me over.

 

Hamlet is my favourite Shakespearean play and it’s been a long time since I saw it performed.  It remains my fav, and I’m so impressed with how many quotes and sayings from the play are still widely used in current discourse.

 

The theatre, naturally, was filled with mostly grey-haired folk, so there was a bit of a universal snort when Hamlet tells his mother that she’s old and shouldn’t be interested in sex anymore!  Since this is the first time I’ve seen the play since losing my own parents, I found myself much more sympathetic to Hamlet’s situation however, expected to get over the death of his father in a mere two months! 

 

A most enjoyable experience.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-25 18:13
Julius Caesar / William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare
  Politics. Power. Ambition. Backstabbing (Literally).

Shakespeare knew human behaviour well. I thoroughly enjoyed the production that I attended on Sunday. So many lines of this play are still used today! “The fault … is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” “Cowards die many times before their deaths.” “Constant as the northern star.” “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

And of course, I cannot think of this play without remembering the Canadian comedy team, Wayne & Shuster and their still funny sketch, Rinse the Blood Off My Toga. (Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR_5h... )

Now, join me for a martinus (wait, we’ll need more than one: martini) and we’ll “Beware the Ides of March.”

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-21 15:49
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead / Tom Stoppard
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - Tom Stoppard

Hamlet told from the worm's-eye view of two minor characters, bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, reality and illusion mix, and where fate leads heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.

 

Each of us is the star of our own life. You may be a bit part in someone else’s narrative, but in your own mind, yours is the story that matters. Or you may struggle to find meaning in your own life, like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in this play by Tom Stoppard.

Last night I attended a live broadcast of the National Theatre production, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Josh McGuire. The set was very simple and the dialog was copious and delivered rapidly. I couldn’t help but admire how well they knew their parts.

There was definitely a “Waiting for Godot” vibe to the production, as R & G wait for some kind of sign or direction as to what they are supposed to be doing.

A knowledge of Shakespeare’s Hamlet isn’t necessary to appreciate this play, but I think it enhances the viewer’s appreciation.

Recommended.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-10-03 19:58
The Merchant of Venice / William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice - William Shakespeare

I attended a filmed version of this play, performed in the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London.  The costuming was wonderful, plus the music was excellent!  Jonathan Price was a convincing Shylock and his real-life daughter Phoebe played the role of Shylock’s daughter Jessica.  Between the two of them, they managed to make Antonio & the other Christians look like the monsters of the piece.

 

Of course I knew about the whole “pound of flesh” issue, but I didn’t know many other details of this play, which is controversial enough that it is not regularly performed.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the humour in the scenes which included Portia and her suitors and in the final scene where the disposal of rings becomes an issue.  It also made me smile as Portia and her maid Nerissa disguised themselves as men, in good Shakespearean tradition.  The role of Lancelot Gobbo was charmingly played by Stefan Adegbola, who brought to members of the audience to the stage to assist with his decisions to change masters.

 

A worthwhile play to attend, it is a thought-provoking piece and a must for every Shakespeare fan.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-09-26 16:19
Richard III / William Shakespeare
Richard III - William Shakespeare

 

If ever there was a monarch who should have ended up buried under a car park, it is Shakespeare’s Richard III, “that bottled spider.”

 

I attended a performance of the play by Calgary’s Shakespeare Company and Richard was embodied by Haysam Kadri, who played Macbeth masterfully last year.  He plays the villain extremely well and gave us a Richard with an impish gleam in his eye, giving the audience wry asides about his plans.  I will go see this man in anything he should choose to act in—he is marvelous.  I heard him interviewed about the play on the radio Saturday morning, where he did the “winter of our discontent” soliloquy and I was immediately squee-ing like a fangirl. 

 

Conventional wisdom had it that Shakespeare had magnified Richard’s deformity, to match his twisted mind.  However, the body recovered from under the car park and identified as Richard III definitely had severe scoliosis.  Kadri must have needed badly to stretch after this performance, spending most of it bent over, with one heel rarely touching in the floor.

 

This was an abridged version of the play, condensed into a two hour performance.  As a result, the action seldom paused for very long and the plot proceeded at a break-neck pace.  A couple of the roles were gender-reversed, to make more parts for women in the production and that mostly worked (although there was one scene where the woman who played Catesby appeared as a dominatrix and it just seemed extremely awkward and out of place).  

 

Now I am just disappointed that I will be out of town during the next play, All’s Well That Ends Well and that they have chosen to remount the extremely successful Macbeth instead of choosing another play for this season.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?