Yes, today is the big, big day as we say "Many Happy Returns!" to the bard of Stratford upon Avon!
The people at bloggingshakespeare.com are asking the bloggers of the World to say Happy Birthday Shakespeare! To stand up and declare our love for the man himself and say just what Bill has done to shape our lives.
Well, by reading any part of this blog you'll see that the great man's works have been subtly slipping into my life for as long as I can remember. And like a favourite novel or movie I can happily return again and again to his plays, either watching, listening or, as now, rereading them, and always be sure to feel a buzz of excitement in my stomach. Shakespeare has been a major part of my life; from studying him at school to visiting the theatre with my family. I am currently midway through rereading 'King Henry V', a most fitting text for me as the famous "Once more unto the breach dear friends..." speech was the first time I performed Shakespeare to an audience.
I was 16 years old and as part of a very patriotic end of year school show we performed the history of Britain though songs, speeches and sketches. So, wearing Union Jack braces and wielding a cavelry sword I urged the audience to “stiffen the sinews” and “summon up the blood” before crying "...God for Harry, England and St George!", leaping from the stage and charging up the aisle. This was all well and good but as card carrying specky kid who preferred to act without the aid of glasses I was risking not only my own life but those several unsuspecting adults as well! Thankfully the evening went off without a single broken limb or perforated parent.
And so began my acting life with the bard. My one regret is that I've yet to act in a complete play by Shakespeare. But somehow I just know that the day will come. When it does I shall do my best to play my part (most likely in the higher 'ages' bracket of man and possibly with less stage diving) and indulge myself in a wondrous act of fiction...