callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

Brush up your Shakespeare

I borrowed this header from the person from whom I got the idea for this post. The plan is to list Shakespeare’s plays, saying whether or not you have read and/or seen them. The trouble with Shakespeare is that you may know a famous speech or two from a play without actually having read the whole thing. I also found Upstart Crow kept interfering with my thoughts.

All’s Well That Ends Well: Can’t remember reading or seeing it.

Antony and Cleopatra: studied this for A-Level. Seen: National Youth Theatre production with Helen Mirren as Cleopatra. My memory of this is that it was at The Roundhouse but I looked it up and it seems to have been the Old Vic. 1965! I was still at school and went with a friend. National Theatre production with Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman; very disappointing. I wonder how many people have seen both productions? I seem to remember a TV production with Colin Blakely as Antony. Perhaps my favourite Shakespeare.

As You Like It: seen, National Theatre

Comedy of Errors: A total mystery to me.

Coriolanus and Cymbeline: never seen and no desire to see; too gory.

Hamlet: read at school. Never seen on stage but have seen the Olivier film and the Russian one.

Henry IV, Part 1: we read this at school. With the exception of Henry VIII, I think I’ve seen most of these history plays in one of those long TV seasons.
Henry IV, Part II
Henry V: know it quite well, so must have read it. Seen: the Olivier film and Kenneth Branagh’s.
Henry VI, Part I
Henry VI, Part II
Henry VI, Part III
Henry VIII

Julius Caesar: read at school, never seen.

King John: know the famous parts.

King Lear: know it well but can’t bear to see it in a theatre, it’s too much for me. Have seen TV productions.

Love’s Labour’s Lost: Know nothing.

Macbeth: read at school. Seen, the National Youth Theatre production, which was definitely at the Roundhouse.

Measure for Measure: ignorant again.

Merchant of Venice: know quite well so must have read it. Have only seen TV versions, I think.

Merry Wives of Windsor: know very little.

Midsummer Night’s Dream: read and seen, at Brownsea Island open air theatre. It was very atmospheric, getting dark as Puck gave the last speech and the peacocks started screeching. Saw the recent eccentric version on TV, which I rather liked. I also played Hermia in a production at the Weald and Downland Museum, back in the 1970s, when it barely existed. I think we acted in an old barn.

Much Ado About Nothing: seen, National Theatre.

Othello: read at school. Seen, National Theatre production with Olivier as Othello and I think Frank Finlay was Iago (I’ve checked very little, writing this).

Pericles: no and not interested.

Richard II: read but not seen.

Richard III: read and one of my favourites. Seen: Olivier film, National Theatre production with Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch in fairly recent TV version.

Romeo and Juliet: read. I think I’ve seen a film with Edith Evans as the Nurse? Also the Zeffirelli film.

Taming of the Shrew: know the story, that’s about it.

The Tempest: love this. Have only seen it on TV; John Gielgud was Prospero.

Timon of Athens: no fear.
Titus Andronicus: ditto.

Troilus and Cressida: know a few speeches, that’s all.

Twelfth Night: good fun. Another one seen at Brownsea Island.

Two Gentlemen of Verona: nope.

Winter’s Tale: studied for A-Level so know it quite well but never seen.

Hmm, looks like I know much less about Shakespeare than perhaps I thought but I may have forgotten a lot.
Tags: films, shakespeare, theatre

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