June 07, 2004

Words, words, words

So how was your weekend? Rose and I spent ours in Pennsylvania, reading Hamlet. This is a milestone for our Shakespeare reading group; we've now read every Shakespeare play (including -- shudder -- Pericles). I've been to every reading except one; I had to miss Henry VI, part 3 because of rehearsal obligations for We're All Dead. That's a pretty good record; I think the only member of the group to out-Ripken me is our founder, Randy.

In one highlight of the weekend, Daniel and Gina's twins opted to take the part of King Hamlet's ghost, gurgling and cooing throughout the first scene despite Horatio's exhortation, "By heaven I charge thee, speak!" It would certainly have been pretty impressive if they had obeyed. Later, one of their toys provided "sproing" sound effects during the big swordfight.

Now that we've been through the canon, we're going to start over, redoing our favorites, and throwing in the odd non-Shakespeare as it strikes us. Suggestions so far have included Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, and excerpts from the Iliad, all of which I can get behind (especially Arcadia, a modern classic). We should probably also do the recently attributed (though still dubious) Cardenio at some point. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Ideal plays for our purposes have a lot of characters, and few if any long two-person scenes.

Posted by Francis at 04:13 AM