Monday, February 6, 2012

Playing Shakespeare

We are Shakespeare people.

The contents of our bookshelves, the DVDs in our collection, even the phrases we use in everyday life give us away. Who else has six copies of Julius Caesar just sitting around on their shelves? Who else gets excited over a new production of Hamlet? Who else quotes Shakespeare on a daily basis? Only Shakespeare people.

And, being Shakespeare people, we of course got excited when we heard about a DVD of Shakespearian master classes called Playing Shakespeare. It’s a series where Shakespearian actors go through some of the technical, parts of the scripts and act out parts of the plays to illustrate points.

It might sound a bit dull, but we found we really enjoy it. Who could fail to get the idea of putting emotion into words when the actor of Gandalf shows the different ways to do it, with often hilarious results? Who could fail to remember iambic pentameter when the actors play around with it and end up making a complete mess of the line?

There are so many things we are learning from these master classes. And it’s interesting to see what we have already learnt in our other Shakespearian studies. We’d already studied iambic pentameter before, but hearing it in action really fixed it in our minds.

There's nine episodes in this series, and we’ve only watched two. So many delightful Shakespearian things still left to learn. We’re looking forwards to the rest of this DVD.

Yes, we are Shakespeare people, with our bookshelves full of scripts, and our heads full of quotes. We’re enthusing over DVDs of Shakespearian acting classes and eyeing with pleasure a stack of Hamlet DVDs.

We are Shakespeare people, and happy to be so.


  1. It's good to know that I have the complete works of Shakespeare on my bookshelf, doesn't it? :)

  2. I love that you guys are Shakespeare people. That's so cool! I've only read a few of his works, but I've downloaded a bunch of others recently, so hopefully I can get to those soon. Any particular suggestions?

  3. David, you have my respect. A volume of Shakespeare's complete works! We picked a couple of those up at a second hand shop when we couldn't find any copies of a particular play. They come in handy when we misplace the other copies of our plays.

  4. Jenna, my favourite Shakespeare plays are: Much Ado About Nothing, which is good for a comedy, and Hamlet (who couldn't love that one?). You might also enjoy A Comedy of Errors, which gets complex, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, and Henry the 5th. Richard the third is also a pretty good play. Steer clear of Titus Andronicus though. It is a brutal play, trust me.