The Sound of Hamlet, part 6

The Sound of Hamlet
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 

It happens in every production of Hamlet - you reach Act 3, Scene 1, and you can hear the audience hold it's collective breath for a moment... followed by the suppressed sound of hundreds of people trying very hard not to say the words along with the poor actor on stage.

It is the "to be or not to be" speech.

Similarly, in every production of the Sound of Music you can hear people trying very hard not to sing along to "Do Re Mi".

It's the same thing.

Phew. Thank goodness that's over.

Tune in next week for the Murder of Gonzago, in which there may or may not be goats!

The Sound of Hamlet, part 1

The Sound of Hamlet
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Since nobody rioted over my last Shakespeare/Musical Theater mash-up  so I thought I might try another one. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Sound of Music film adaptation, starring Julie Andrews and acclaimed Shakespearean actor Christopher Plummer. To celebrate, I have taken this most-beloved of musicals and unceremoniously mashed it together with that most-beloved of Shakespeare plays... Hamlet.

We start with an abbreviated rendition of the title song:

The next song is based on "An Ordinary Couple", which was cut from the film version and replaced by "Something Good". It's occasionally replaced in stage productions as well, so it's not very well-known. (I don't particularly like it, but it's a great song for Claudius to sing.)

Finally, we have the song that ousted "An Ordinary Couple" - "Something Good".

Tune in again on Thursday for part 2 of The Sound of Hamlet!

The Sound of Hamlet
Part 1 | Part 2

Shakespearean Character Spotlight: Richard III

Today's the day!

Yes, today's the day that the poor, mangled skeleton formerly known as King Richard III completes its journey from car park exhumation to cathedral re-interment. To commemorate the event, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at Shakespeare's version of this much-maligned English monarch. 

Shakespeare's Richard III is the villain you love to hate. He's charismatic and seductive, ruthless and manipulative, and a lot of fun to watch in action. He is, in short, a fantastic dramatic creation.

The real Richard III, of course, was a rather more nuanced character whose finer points - such as his strong leadership and introduction of political and judicial reforms - were all but obliterated by the pro-Tudor propaganda that proliferated after his demise. Whether or not he had a direct hand in the mysterious disappearance of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, cannot be proved one way or another. Please don't send me angry messages, Ricardians. I'm a little bit scared of you.

Anyways... rest in peace, Richard. If it's any consolation, you've had a much more exciting afterlife than most other English monarchs.

Check out my other Shakespearean Character Spotlights