Here's a promo for the production of Hamlet that Su and I are going to see in just over a week. I'm really looking forward to it. As much as I enjoy some Shakespeare films, I think the best way to see Shakespeare's plays is in live productions. I think there's an immediacy to the acting and the text that is missing from most films based on Shakespeare's plays. I think Su will really love it, because she's at the right age to really appreciate what's going on.
This one is shorter than the Simpsons clip I posted earlier, but I actually find it a bit funnier! This is Phillip (as inTerrance and Phillip, of South Park fame) doing a Canadian summerstock production of Hamlet. True to SP's depiction of all Canadians, there are a bunch of utterances of "buddy" and "guy" added to Shakespeare's text. Watch and enjoy.
I'll be taking Su to see a live production of Hamlet in just over a week. It will be the first time she's seeing live Shakespeare since she was really little. As preparation, here's Shakespeare's story as told by The Simpsons.
[UPDATE: I wrote this post almost three years ago, and sometime over the past year or so, it seems that the site that is referenced below is no longer active. I've removed the dead link, to try to eliminate confusion.]
Well, I don't believe I've ever stumbled upon this before: it's an online copy of the "shooting script" for Franco Zeffirelli's film version of Hamlet (1990). It's the one that starred Mel Gibson as Hamlet. A few things interest me about this script: first of all, for many years, this was my favorite film version of Hamlet (it isn't my favorite any more, but it still occupies a special place in my heart, as I've seen it so many times); second, it's interesting to see how many things were cut after this draft of the script was written; finally, it makes me smile to see, on the first page, the words "freely adapted from William Shakespeare's tragedy." I mean, most Shakespeare films are pretty heavily cut, particularly adaptations of Hamlet. But Zeffirelli seems to have drawn an awful lot of criticism for his cuts of Shakespeare's text, especially when compared to Branagh's version, which came out half a dozen years later, and which featured a "complete" text. (I put "complete" in quotes, as Branagh's script is also a creative work of editing, due to his conflation of Folio and Quarto texts, so one could just as easily accuse him of artificially expanding the text to a degree that it can't possibly resemble anything ever performed in Shakespeare's time.) Heck, Olivier's version of Hamlet even cut the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern completely! And his film continues to be one of the most highly praised Shakespeare films in history. Anyway, I'm going to enjoy reading this script of Zeffirelli's more closely.
(adj.) wild and frenzied; from Greek κορυβαντες (Korybantes)