Random News: Happy 450th Birthday to the Bard

Hello Lovely Readers,

We are back from our Easter break just in time for a very special birthday. Today marks William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday! His plays are the most preformed plays in the world which we can still appreciate today. Sometimes he is considered the greatest writer in the English Language, and England’s national poet. Many of the words and phrases that we use today were first used by him. He was born to a glove maker and rose to count two different monarchs as his patrons.
I have been truly lucky these past few years to experience so many of his plays in person. My love of Shakespeare can be traced back almost 15 years now. My goal is to see a performance of every play written by Shakespeare )excepting of course those lost to time). I am well on my way, but I still have 17 left (I have tickets to see 3 of these already). So I have some Shakespeare that I have not yet had a chance to experience.

I thought I would share some clips from Shakespeare’s plays this year in stead of sonnets. Hopefully, for those who are not fans, you can appreciate his work, even if you never like it!

First is a condensed scene from Much Ado About Nothing, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. It is probably my favorite version (so far) of the play. This scene is where some friends trick Benedick into believing Beatrice is in love with him, and he realizes he loves her, too! She has not been tricked yet by her friends, so she is her usual hostile self at the end of the scene!

Next is a clip from Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance (as Olivia) and Stephen Fry (as Malvolio). I was fortunate enough to see this play in  person, which was a treat as it was my first experience with an all male cast! In this scene Malvolio is dressed funny because he believes a letter telling him to do so was from Olivia. She knows nothing about the letter so is very confused by the change in him!

This third clip is from The Tempest, which was the very first play I ever read by Shakespeare. In this version the lead male part has been cast as a female with just a minimal change to the name, Prospero to Prospera. Helen Mirran plays this lead, and in this scene at the the end of the play she is giving up her magic as she has achieved what she wanted.

Lastly, one of the best current actors of Shakespearean works is Ben Whishaw (although Tom Hiddleston is trying to take this over I think!). While he plays an ethereal Ariel in The Tempest, I absolutely loved him in Richard II in the Hollow Crown tetrology. In this clip he is being forced to relinquish his crown formally, and it is tearing him apart.

Now these are just a selection of the Bard’s work, and not even all of my favorites. What are some of your favorite works, actors, and versions?

Until next time,


Random News: Tom Hiddleston and Some Fun Shakespeare and Marvel Finds

Hello Lovely Readers,

As you may have realized I have a bit of a soft spot for Tom Hiddleston, especially when it comes to him in Shakespeare plays. If you have not seen him in the Hollow Crown tetraology, I highly recommend it (especially Henry V)! I was very excited about six months ago when I found out he would be the lead in Coriolanus, however even back then all the tickets were completely sold out. Yet not is all lost, the National Theatre is doing an event where on 30 January (tomorrow) many participating cinemas will be broadcasting live a performance of Coriolanus, and to my knowledge this also extends outside the UK as well. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, I will not be able to see this at the cinema. Luckily, one of the cinemas near me will be re-playing the show at later dates, and I will catch it then and report back. But hopefully some of you can see the event. There is information here. Also below is a nice video of behind the scenes a the theatre, just to try and entice you!

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, there are now rumors of Kenneth Branagh trying to direct a Hiddleston in a Shakespeare movie, and best of all it is Much Ado About Nothing. This is one of my favorite plays, and they are talking about having Hiddleston as Benedick, which I think is a perfect fit. You can read the article I found here. I am really hoping this rumor comes to pass. The only tricky part is who would be cast as Beatrice, as they will need to have a certain chemistry that if it is missing could spoil the whole play.

The last news is sort of combined, but apparently there is a lot of fun stuff on the new Thor: Dark World dvds, and these extra bits have hit the internet. The first shows Hiddleston embracing the chance to wear the Captain America costume, and it is not to be missed! You can see the clip and gifs here.

The second find from the dvd is Hiddleston’s original audition for the part of Thor. For those who may have been unaware, Hiddleston bulked up a bit and tried for the lead, before Kenneth Branagh (yes the same one from the previous news) cast him as Loki, and Hiddleston had to slim down for the part. While the whole video doesn’t seem to be posted yet, the gif sets make it worth it, so see it here. Plus it is fun to see Hiddleston with long blond hair (his actual hair unless I am mistaken).

Hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did. I think I am going to have to re-watch The Hollow Crown tonight!

Until next time,

Movie Review: Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

Movie Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Joss Whedon
Notable Stars: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, and Sean Maher

Benedick: Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.
Beatrice: A dear happiness to women: they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.
Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare

Final Verdict: A good film, which makes Shakespeare easily accessible to everyone, and will be loved by fans of the Bard.

For the full review of this movie and the movie trailer, click the movie title.

Movie Review: Twelfth Night (1996)

Movie Title: Twelfth Night
Director: Trevor Nunn
Notable Stars:  Imogene Stubbs, Helena Bonham Carter, Toby Stephens, Mel Smith, Nigel Hawthorne, and Sir Ben Kingsley

“She never told her love, but let concealment, like a worm ‘i th’ bud, feed on her damask cheek. She pinned in thought; and, with a green and yellow melancholy, she sat like Patience on a monument, smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed? We men may say more, swear more; but indeed our shows are more than will; for we still prove much in our vows but little in our love.”
Viola in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Final Verdict: A great movie, and one that is nice for a quiet night in with a few laughs and some romance!

For the full review of this movie and the movie trailer, click the movie title.

Movie Review: 10 Things I Hate About You

Movie Title: 10 Things I Hate About You (based on The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare)
Director: Gil Junger
Notable Stars: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Larisa Oleynik, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larry Miller

Listen, I’m down, I’ve got the 411, and you are not going out and getting jiggy with some boy, I don’t care how dope his ride is!… Momma di’nt raise no fool.” Walter Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You

Final Verdict: A great comedy, not to be missed. A current adaptation of a Shakespeare classic.

For the full review of this movie and the movie trailer, click the movie title.

Movie Review: Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Movie Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Notable Stars:  Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Imelda Staunton, Brian Blessed, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, and Richard Briers

Benedick: “I pray thee now tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?”
Beatrice: “For them all together, which maintained so politic a state of evil that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them: but for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?”
Benedick: “Suffer love. a good epithet, I do suffer love indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare

Final Verdict: If you are a fan of Shakespeare or Branagh, see it. If not give it a pass and find a better comedy.

For the full review of this movie, click the movie title.

Movie Review: Much Ado About Nothing (2011)

Movie Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Josie Rourke
Notable Stars:  David Tennant and Catherine Tate

I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.
Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare

Final Verdict: Run and push small children out of the way to go and see this! Any performance of Much Ado about Nothing would be worth it, but this version will keep you laughing throughout.

For the full review of this movie, click the movie title.