Saturday, April 23, 2016

Shakespeare – 400 years on

I am behind my time to write about Shakespeare, about the plays, about “what Shakespeare means to me.”  I am way behind in my writing in general, so this blog for Will is, perforce, short but I hope sweet.

W is for the Wily Words he made up  
I is for his Imagination beyond compare
L is for the Laughter he showed us all around
L is for the Love he loved to describe

S is for his Shaky historical accuracy
H is for his Heroes and Heroines
A is for the Annual count of the Shakespeare plays, films, adaptations, and books I’ve enjoyed...or not....
K is for the Kaleidoscopic range of characters, places, and times he brought onstage
E is for the Energy he creates in me
S is for the Sentimental love Songs
P is for his Perspicacious Psychological insight long before Freud and Jung 
E is for the Emotions his characters juggle in the plays and poetry
A is for the Alliance of Airy Sprites and Articulate Dames….
R is for the Remarkable and Ridiculous…..words words words
E is for the End….

We all know Will’s words are in our daily talk, chats, tweets.  In the year leading up to this, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s (or Willm Shakp, William Shaksper, Wm Shakspe, William Shakspere or Willm Shakspere) death (and possibly birth), he moved from my unconscious to conscious in the following ways:

The Theatre for a New Audience (“TFANA”) production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre  —

Also at TFANA, the Fiasco Theatre Company’s delightful, brisk, sharp and smart production of Two Gentlemen of Verona

Daniel Sullivan’s production of Cymbeline at the Delacorte last summer —

Which followed the early summer production of The Tempest directed by Michael Greif —

Last spring, I saw a play not by Shakespeare but rather about him.  Sort of:  Something Rotten.  What a lot of fun that was on Broadway —

This spring I’ve just see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “King and Country:  Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings,” comprising Richard II, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, and Henry V, playing in repertory at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Kenneth Branagh’s eponymous theatre company broadcast live his production The Winter’s Tale from London to New York —

And Hamlet at London’s National theatre, broadcast live to Queens, NY, with the ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch

No matter how many Shakespeare plays I’ve seen, I’ll see them again in time to come.  Some will disappoint, some will exhilarate.  The plays, the good ones (no, they’re not all good) can weather all manner of interpretations, edits, stagings and filmings. I rejoice in them.

My recent breakfast reading is The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro, about the events in England the year preceding Shakespeare’s writing of King Lear.  Fascinating background reading that put me in mind of last summer’s production of The Tempest in Central Park as I read Shapiro’s description of Ben Jonson’s Masque…everything’s connected.  Also reading Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: The World As Stage, just for fun.

As always, thanks, Will.  The world would have a paucity of wondrous, witty words without you.

~ Molly Matera signing off to write about the Great Cycle of Kings playing in repertory at BAM until April 30th.  And after that, to watch The Hollow Crown with the same four plays on film.

No comments:

Post a Comment