Shakespeare anecdotes

24 Apr

A writing blog I’ve been following relates a few Shakespearean anecdotes, because of the 400th anniversary celebrations that are going on.  I’ve decided to do the same, but very much in note form. I remember our English teacher telling us about why he had just had his haircut which tidied up his trademark unruly hair :’my mother,’ he told us,  while we were studying All’s Well That Ends Well. Or the time we went to see the great Paul Scofield as Prospero in my favourite Shakespeare play The Tempest at Leeds Playhouse. A very imaginative production with spirits standing on top of ‘clouds’ and singing down at the stage and with of course great performances.

I saw a lot of Shakespeare plays while I was at school, and I always wanted to play the Fool in King Lear, for reasons that are still obscure to me. I never did get to play the Fool (nor any other character in King Lear), but I did get to see that difficult and brilliant masterpiece a couple of times.

I’ve also seen an awful, truly awful production of The Tempest done by the Pip Simmons Theatre Group – they decided to go for a Freudian interpretation of it and it was , when it boiled down to it, mostly orgy-on-stage and trying to get the audience to participate… Unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

And Shakespeare starred quite recently in my post about the Zlotow inter-schools drama competition a few years ago.

The man from Stratford-Upon- Avon keeps cropping up, though I’m not complaining. My wife,  on seeing Millais’ pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia said: ‘I know where I’ve seen that painting before: they’ve paid homage to it in a pop video with Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue.’ So, we you tubed it and yes, there was a red-haired Kylie lying in a pool of water and singing before she drowns in the same way as in the picture, only placed the other way round. And from a TEFL teacher’s perspective,  you only need to google the phrases and expressions the Bard has given to the English language to see how much of his language we still use today.

 

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