In celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th death Anniversary, The Guardian has featured famous actors and actresses reading Shakespeare’s works. Listen to English actor David Morissey read the opening lines of Richard III in the video below:
Ah Shakespeare. I love reading his words, hearing his words, watching his work become alive before my very eyes. Every now and then I must have a dose of Shakespeare. Whether it is through re-reading of his works, watching a film or if I’m lucky, watching them on stage. There’s something magical, no maybe, “magical” is the wrong word, more like “haunting” when watching his works, as if you’ve stepped into a different world and you’re witnessing a phenomenon happening right before your very eyes.
Admittedly, I prefer hearing his words than reading them, though I have read them. I did a short-course with Future Learn called “Shakespeare and his World” and Professor Jonathan Bates who ran the course said that it helps to read him out loud and not to worry if you don’t understand every nuance or phrase, unless of course, you’re a Shakespeare scholar. The point he makes I think is just to enjoy him, without worrying too much that you absolutely have no clue what you’re reading about, chances are, you’ll get the gist of it. For me, Shakespeare is an experience to enjoy like eating, not necessarily a Michelin starred meal, but more like a favourite dish you enjoy.
A couple of summers ago, when family from home were visiting, we had the chance to watch “The Tempest” at Minack, an open-theatre set against the Cornish coast. It was the perfect venue to watch the play which is set on a deserted island somewhere in the Caribbean. We were daring enough to watch it with little T who was then barely four-years-old.
But I’m proud to say, she was an angel who sat quietly without whinging and complaining about how long the play was, or that it was “boring”. I think she too was enthralled by the whole experience. It’s best to start to start them early on Shakespeare 😉
Hearing those videos on The Guardian website has made me pine for his works again. One for the bucket list this summer is to watch a play of his in no other than The Globe Theatre in London. Closer to home, there’s also the Minack which has scheduled Shakespeare plays too over the summer, so if you’re planning a visit, check out their website and if you’re lucky, there might just be something on for you.
Incidentally, the Shakespeare course I mentioned on this post will be running again on the 18th of April. If you enjoy him, you will definitely enjoy this course, I did. Do sign up, and did I mention that it’s free? 😉
I’m leaving you with another Shakespeare performance, this time by Ayesha Dharker as Titania in “A Mid Summer Night’s Dream” and if you go to The Guardian’s Website, you’ll be able to hear more readings from great actors. Now excuse me while I bury my nose in his book. Perfect reading in this stormy day, while the wind is howling outside …
“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our teeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurour and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s molds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!”
- William Shakespeare, King Lear
Have you seen any Shakespeare play?
Did you enjoy it?