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,