Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Quote #034

"We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep."
 Prospero - 'The Tempest', Act IV, Scene 1

34 - The Tempest

This is a marvellous play but somehow much shorter than I remember it. I could have sworn there was more interaction between Miranda and Ferdinand. And I'd also forgotten just how forgiving Prospero was towards everyone, especially the treacherous brothers Antonio and Sebastian.

I once used Trinculo's first discovery of Caliban as an audition speech for RADA. The person auditioning that day was John Duttine, of 'Day of the Triffids' fame. Having finished my pieces I embarrassed him by asking for his autograph for my Mum, as she had adored him in 'To Serve Them All My Days'. I'm not saying that's why I didn't get into RADA but I didn't get in...

And Finally - The whole play happens within the space of three hours - so roughly in real time, which I think is Billy-Boy's only attempt to do so. Although there was one other lost work performed as a single marathon over the course of one day. It was based on the Gunpowder Plot and saw a rouge Knight go against his Lords and Masters, thwart the terrorists, save the king and capture Guy Fawkes - while simultaneously dealing with problems with his Lady wife, his wayward daughter and from consonantly hearing an odd noise that sounded like 'Do-Do-Dat-Doooo!' His name?...

Sir Jacques de Bauer...


QI - Shakespeare Special

Monday, 17 December 2012

Quote #033

"The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love."
Helena - 'All's Well That Ends Well' Act I, Scene 1


33 - All's Well That Ends Well

I'm going to be very unoriginal here and say that Shakespeare has written some excellent parts for women. Forget for the moment that the parts would have been played by men. It is still the case that these are strong female characters who are matching, or indeed outwitting, their male counterparts. Sometimes they do this in the guise of a man such as Rosalind and Viola and to a smaller extend Portia. However, in 'All's Well That Ends Well' and the character of Helena, we have a female lead who raises herself up as a woman to be then knocked back only to rise again stronger than ever. And she does it all with out once putting on a pair of britches! Of course this does beg one question - if she is so strong a character why is she bothering to chase a brat like Bertram?

Getting back to the personal aspect of this challenge I remember unsuccessful trying to use a speech by Parolles for entrance auditions for Drama Schools. With audition pieces the trick is not to go for something too ambitious (it's a brave person who will go for Hamlet's "To be or not to be..") but also avoid something that the panel will have seen ten times already that day (Viola's "I left no ring with her..." speech being a prime example). However, at the age of eighteen I still hadn't read all that much Shakespeare except for the obvious ones which were therefore either ambitious or done to death. My standard piece, Edmund the Bastard's "Thou nature art my goddess..." was proving to be a bit too popular, hence the the reason for trying Parolles and his "Virginity" speech. But at the time I couldn't get a handle on it and so it was abandoned after only one outing.

And Finally - The Bard does it again with yet another Nostradamus Game-show moment - this time 'Dating in the Dark'! And remember, it may be that if-you-like-it-then-you-should-have-put-a-ring-on-it but just be sure it's the right ring and, more importantly, the right 'it'!...


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hamlet Gangnam Style

Someone was bound to do it eventually!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Quote #032

"The end crowns all;
And that old common arbitrator, Time,
Will one day end it."
Ulysses - 'Troilus and Cressida' Act IV Scene 5


32 - Troilus and Cressida

By heck but this was a  tough one! Tougher even than Hector, Achilles and Ajax all mixed together!  The story doesn't go anywhere, the titular characters barely register and there are too many Heroes all trying to out soliloquise each other.

This is another of the Bard's works which might benefit for being staged in a school playground as the kings and heroes act more like kids; boasting one minute, then having a quick fight before making up and finally going off in a sulk!
In short it's no wonder I knew nothing about the play prior to reading it and in some ways I wish I still knew nothing.
And Finally - The play starts in the middle of the Trojan War and finishes... in the middle of the Trojan War. The Iliad does the same thing but in this Scrap of the Scribes I reckon it's Billy-Boy who's bitten off more than he could chew and is likely to end up being dragged, lifeless behind Homer's horse. (but then that's what you get for cribbing off Chaucer!)...