From The Archives: Shakespeare's 450th

Apr 23, 2014

On the 450th anniversary of the birth of the language's greatest writer, it seems appropriate to reflect on the work of William Shakespeare. 

In 2005, the Blackfriars Stage Company brought their tour to New Hampshire. We welcomed two actos from the company to our studios to speak with the Front Porch. Alyssa Wilmoth and Tyler Moss were playing Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing and they gave us a little taste of their craft; from Act 1, Scene 1.

Here is a scene from Act 4 where the two characters explore different feelings.

Over the years, Word of Mouth has reported on several interesting takes of the Bard's work...including four goodly men from Portland, Oregon presenting the Metal Shakespeare Company. In songs like “To Bleed or Not to Bleed,” the group combines the hard driving music of Motley Crue with the poetry of the Shakespeare. The group’s singer and guitarist, Jason Simms, aka Lord Simms, joined host Virginia Prescott for some iambic shredding.

Violence abounds in Shakespeare's plays, and while some of the more graphic scenes happen off-stage (Lear gouging his own eyes, Ophelia throwing herself in the river Cornwall gouging out Gloucester's eyes in King Lear, and Hamlet's unfortunate Ophelia drowning in the river) there is plenty that happens onstage to fill a novel, even a graphic novel. in 2009, Virginia spoke with Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, the creative force behind such a book titled "Kill Shakespeare. They discuss how it brings together The Bard's most beloved heroes and most treacherous villains, all in search of a reclusive wizard - William Shakespeare himself.