If it were possible for Alan Bennett to meet William Shakespeare wouldn’t you like to be there? Two prolific British writers with immense talent for observation, poetry, conjuring up an image and keeping the audience enthralled. Here at FINDING THE WILL we’ve long been fans of Mr Bennett and our love of Mr Shakespeare’s work is well known – so what a daunting task to try and pay tribute to both. But ten years ago, unknowingly as it happens, that’s what we started to do. The result – not TALKING HEADS but BARD HEADS!
The BARD HEADS Collection
Just like Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’, ‘Bard Heads’ is a collection of monologues under one umbrella title. Each monodrama – is that a more enticing word than ‘monologue’? (is monodrama even a word?) – lasts approximately 50 minutes and explores what might have happened to various characters (still alive) at the end of six of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. All six are written by Richard and me, in modern English, and in such a way that if you don’t know the original play, it really doesn’t matter. The time lapse from the end of the original to the modern piece varies from 3 months to over 400 years – well with the best will in the world, not to mention the best stage lighting, neither Richard nor I can really get away with being in our teens or twenties any more! – and whilst there are references to the parent play, each drama stands alone as a piece of theatre in its own right.
Now regular readers of this blog will no doubt be familiar with BARD HEADS from past performances – we’ve been touring all six since 2014, four of them since 2011 and two of them since 2010. And now, thanks to Covid and the ‘new normal’ we have the opportunity to perform them to a national and international audience via Live Stream with the support of our dear friends at intoBodmin and the wonders of modern technology! Last month we dipped our toes in the digital water for the first time and streamed Call Me Oz and The Third Witch From The Left – we were delighted with the response gathering audiences from all over the country and around the world. Amidst the lovely feedback was the clear desire to see more and so, as someone once said, “once more unto the breach dear friends”! Next month you will have the chance to catch up with Malvolio, three months after the end of Twelfth Night in The Whirligig Of Time and Hermia, thirty years after the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in The Dust Behind The Door. Once again we are thrilled to be teaming up with intoBodmin. Actually I just want to take this opportunity to give them a huge shout out. intoBodmin is a small arts centre in Bodmin, Cornwall (funnily enough!) run by the indefatigable Fin Irwin. Live streaming our shows was Fin’s idea originally and intoBodmin, as a small arts organisation, has been brilliant at supporting us as artistes and keeping a connection with its own audience by coming up with innovative ideas like this. We are hugely grateful for the opportunity. Thank you intoBodmin!
Save the dates!
So, the dates you need to save are: Thursday 17 September at 7.30pm The Whirligig Of Time and Thursday 24th September at 7.30pm The Dust Behind The Door. Free access to the Crowdcast platform will be available via the intoBodmin Box Office page and then you just grab your favourite snack and beverage, sit on your sofa and enjoy! There will also be the opportunity to donate directly to FINDING THE WILL should you feel so inclined. Oh and if anyone knows Alan Bennett personally, please pass on the information to him too!
See you virtually soon I hope!