Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare and I’m sorry to say Happy Death Day too. Amazing to think you were born 452 years ago, wandered this earth writing, acting, procreating and, I’m sure, quaffing and carousing a little and we are still rejoicing in your life. 400 years after your death, not only are we finding new ways to perform your rich and beautiful texts but we are also finding new angles on your characters, writing plays about you, your life and imagining what that life might truly have been like. You continue to inspire, educate and entertain – I doubt even you ever dreamt that could possibly be the case 400 years on. You left us quite a legacy and no mistake.
In our own small way we, at FINDING THE WILL, are flying your flag still. We are inspired by you and with your help we educate and we also entertain. Last weekend for example we performed our Shakespeare inspired show ‘Bard Heads’ in the open air (for the very first time) in beautiful Trebah Gardens in Cornwall. The amphitheatre there is a wonderful space in which to perform and we had a fantastic night (and yes it was flippin’ cold!).
Click here for Trebah Garden Amphitheatre trailer!
The two shows chosen by the Trebah Garden Trust were ‘The Dust Behind The Door’ (Hermia 25 years on from the end of ‘The Dream’) and ‘Dog, Book And Scandal’ (Friar Lawrence a year after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet). One of Hermia’s lines is ‘There’s a robin in the garden’ and guess what? Whilst we ate our lunch in the Trebah Garden Cafe, there WAS a robin in the garden – several in fact and all very cheeky and noisy exactly as Hermia describes.
We had a truly lovely weekend, so many thanks to the Trebah Amphitheatre team for making us feel so welcome and giving us the opportunity to kick off your season. Back to a more traditional setting this weekend – Bishopstone Village Hall near Salisbury for ‘The Third Witch From The Left’ (a lesser known weird sister centuries after the demise of Macbeth) and ‘Call Me Oz’ (Osric finally tells the truth about Hamlet forty five years after the Elsinore massacre) – thanks to Rural Arts Touring (Wiltshire) for this one.
Then we are off to ‘educate’ again. A last minute booking for a primary school in Halifax – two interactive workshops on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for Years 3-6. Should be fun (once we get there!) and exciting to be able to weave a bit of ‘Will’ magic in a new school to us. So, without sounding too grumpy, when you hear about the RSC doing ‘The Dream’ with the help of community actors all round the country, ‘Hamlet’ being performed worldwide even in Elsinore (again the RSC), ‘The Hollow Crown’ on the BBC with stellar names like Dame Judi and Benedict Cumberbatch, celebratory performances at The Globe – spare a thought for us little people – the unknowns, the foot soldiers, the flag bearers in the regions, the Groundlings.
We are just as proud to speak your words Mr Shakespeare and just as passionate.
Happy Birthday Sir and may the human race still be raising a glass to you in another 452 years!