Thursday, April 16, 2009

DVD: Playing Shakespeare

Ooooo, this looks interesting.  A 4DVD set of “actor’s workshops” including Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Ben Kingsley…

Anyone who has ever appreciated Shakespeare will find startling new insights in these nine intensive acting workshops. In an intimate, informal setting, the Royal Shakespeare Company's John Barton shares ideas with 21 world-renowned performers. Together they explore hidden direction in the verse, character motivations, and fresh approaches to classic speeches.

It’s stuff like this, and the recent Age of Kings collection, that make me wish I did this stuff for a living.  I have no way near the money or the time to buy these collections every time I see them.  Ah well, maybe somebody else out there wants to jump on something like this and tell us how it is.  Comes out in June 2009.


Bill said...

Duane, you might actually want to pick this one up.

The library at NYU has the VHS tapes, and so I've been able to watch them all. I've been waiting for this DVD release for a very long time.

The transcripts of the sessions have been released as a book, but since a large part of the point is to hear the actors speak the lines, the book can only take you so far.

I won't tell you how to spend your time and money, but in my opinion this collection is well worth both.

Willshill said...

Ditto Duane! on what Bill said.
Barton's a genius when it comes to scoping out and translating into action the possibilities of Shakespeare's intent. 'Twould greatly feed thy mind, analytical--and they're a lot of fun, too.

Andrew said...

I am now eagerly awaiting the release of this set. I have just finished the book, and am thus eager to see the original source.

Gedaly said...

This series is wonderful. John Barton has created a brilliant set of lessons on acting Shakespeare's plays. There's nothing else quite like it.

Craig said...

Oh, very much yes. It's not just a resource for actors, you know--anyone who loves Shakespeare will find treasures within. "Playing Shakespeare" captures some amazing performances from the "Golden Age" of the RSC--you have Patrick Stewart's amazing Leontes, Judi Dench as Viola, Ian McKellen talking about his's just fantastic. One entire hour is given to Patrick Stewart and David Suchet giving their contrasting interpretations of Shylock. Just fantastic.