danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
Day #4: Your favourite heroine

We are but warriors for the working day - and so have missed the weekend and a few days whilst I've been working.

My favourite heroine are a double act - Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. They determine that they are not to be triffled with and set about Falstaff with vigour and humour creating almost all the action of the play. The play is about their decision to remain faithful to their husbands, their action to ward off a pernicous suitor and their responsibilty for the relationships with their husbands that they chose to have.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
Brutus. He's one of my favourite historical heroes - the noblest Roman of them all - trying to do the right thing uncynically in a cynical time and place - and failling because of the manner of this nobility. Unlike the snakeoil salesman that is Mark Antony or the scheming propagandist Octavian, Brutus fails to recover the Roman Republic because the tries to explain honestly, but not smoothly, his motives and because he treats Mark Antony with honour and as a citizen of the new Republic he hopes to secure.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
My favourite Shakespeare character depends a bit on what we mean by favourite. I enjoy Falstaff. I think Beatrice from Much Ado is the character I'd most like to know. Mark Antony is the historical character I think Shakespeare gets most right. Richard the Third is the character I think he most skillfully misrepresents.

I'll go for Beatrice. She's funny and charming and wise and loves her friends and her family and is so, so angry at the way her life is ordered. By my troth, a pleasant-sprited lady.

I promise I have seen, read and been in more than one Shakespeare play.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
In order to properly celebrate the greatest ever playwright I'll be solemly taking part in a 30 Day Meme - a post a day as follows.

The 30 days:
Day #1: Your favourite play
Day #2: Your favourite character
Day #3: Your favourite hero
Day #4: Your favourite heroine
Day #5: Your favourite villain
Day #6: Your favourite villainess
Day #7: Your favourite clown
Day #8: Your favourite comedy
Day #9: Your favourite tragedy
Day #10: Your favourite history
Day #11: Your least favourite play
Day #12: Your favourite scene
Day #13: Your favourite romantic scene
Day #14: Your favourite fight scene
Day #15: The first play you read
Day #16: Your first play you saw
Day #17: Your favourite speech
Day #18: Your favourite dialogue
Day #19: Your favourite movie version of a play
Day #20: Your favourite movie adaptation of a play
Day #21: An overrated play
Day #22: An underrated play
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role
Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Day #26: Your favourite couple
Day #27: Your favourite couplet
Day #28: Your favourite joke
Day #29: Your favourite sonnet
Day #30: Your favourite single line
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
My favourite Shakespeare play is Much Ado About Nothing (or Noting or Love's Labour Won).

It was the first Shakespeare play I was in. I played Leonato, governor of Messina and father of Hero, the wronged herione of the play. The production was staged in a courtyard garden at Aberdeen University. In early summer. I was 20. Given a run up I can probably still perform the opening scene.

A memorable event in the production was the actor playing the Friar forgetting a line. These things happen - but as the line he forgot was his speech at the aborted wedding of Claudio and Hero halfway through the play where he recaps the plot of the first half and lays out the plot of the second half it was quite some line to forget. I launched in to perhaps the greatest piece of improvised dialogue I have produced starting with "What I think the Father is saying to us is..." and summarised the Friar's speech and my own interuptions to is.

Straightaway after to the University library to borrow the largest bible we could lay our hands on and stick a copy of the text to the middle page.

A few years before Kenneth Branagh had released his film version. I love the sunshine of it. And Emma Thomson.

I like the play because I was in it and I have a fondness for things that I've done. It's funny. I also like it because it is a funny but quite serious critique of double standards of sexual morality set on a sunny day in Italy.

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danieldwilliam

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