Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I missed Slings & Arrows the first time around, and I'm very sorry for that.  I'd actually tried to check it out, but I must have watched a bad episode because from where I sat it was all about the politics of running a theatre and I didn't see much actual Shakespeare content.  So I didn't make much of an effort to follow up.

 Boy, was that a mistake.  A coworker just let me borrow Season 1 on DVD (well, the first three episodes) and I LOVE IT. 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the show revolves around the New Burbage Theatre festival as they go through their productions of Dream, Hamlet, and I'm presuming some others along the way.  There's some sort of bad history at the place, particularly the director (Oliver) and the former star, Geoffrey.  Well, stuff happens, Geoffrey's thrown back into the mix to re-open old wounds, and let the fun begin.

I think the thing I love the most about the show in what little I've seen is that it reinforces what I've always said (and thought and hoped) about myself.  When the action on the screen is not about Shakespeare - like the politics between the corporate sponsor and the manager producer guy - I really deeply and truly don't care.  BUT!  When the talk turns to Shakespeare, when somebody drops a line or a reference or describes a scene or just goes ahead and does a scene?  Lightning bolts shoot up my spine.  Every time.   There's a scene where they haven't even begun their table reading of Hamlet, and there's name cards on all the seats - Bernardo, Horatio, Osric - and even that does it for me.

One of the major themes of the show is about stripping away the commoditization of the theatre and getting back to how the words can so deeply impact your life. 

Absofrigginlutely, if I do say so myself :). 

I can't wait to get the next set of episodes.  I'm probably going to just go ahead and buy my own copy anyway.


Claudia Alick said...

Slings and Arrows is HIGH-larious. I recently started working at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and find the similarities very funny. We're doing some very fun stuff you might want to check out...for instance OSF is sponsering a poetry slam for the first time ever on Monday March 3 2008. We also did a hip-hop boot camp in 2007. Visit my myspace page to hear some crazy sonnet work. This blog is great. thanks for keeping the bard in the blog.

peace and poetry
claudia alick

JaneFan said...

My husband and I enjoy this series, both for the Shakespeare, and because he has been in comunity theatre. You have to "get" theatre people to really appreciate this show. And the pub songs on the credits are great!

I'm actually ordering the box set for his b-day, since we've only seen seasons 1&2 via netflix. I know he'll be thrilled. I really enjoyed season one and want to re-watch it.

Amelia said...

I love Slings and Arrows too! I've only seen the first season, but when I'm home from school I can't wait to rent the second.