December 13th, 2008


Shakespeare: second quarter

Halfway through (if you don't count Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen), and this remains an excellent project, though I have slowed down a bit. My normal practice is to read the script of each act, and then listen to the Arkangel performance while holding the script in front of me. For the two plays I knew particularly well, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, I skipped the first bit and just got on with listening.

My favourite play of these nine was A Midsummer Night's Dream, though I very much liked the other non-historicals, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice and Julius Caesar. I was less engaged by the historicals. King John is interesting but a bit confused in its message; Henry IV Part I was engaging enough as long as I ignored the irritations of one of the lead performers. But I found Richard II really hard going, and Henry IV Part II and Henry V were thoroughly spoiled for me by the weakness of Jamie Glover's portrayal of Prince Hal/King Henry.

Anyway, onwards and upwards.