Monday, January 5, 2015

January 2015


Happy New Year! Oh, I just realised something. It’s actually Twelfth Night today. I’m not into the whole Christmas thing and being newly retired I don’t long for those holidays, of which tomorrow is one, but Twelfth Night will always mean Shakespeare to me.  It’s been a rather normal Shakespeare month with sightings, and thoughts and a couple of films, and quite a lot from Davis and Frankforter. I’ve started working on the book form of Shakespeare Calling but don’t hold your breath. It will take time and work. But that’s what I’m looking forward to. Now for the first monthly report.

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • Puritans are complex creatures.  They had some good ideas, like democracy and equality and republicanism and education, but things went just a bit awry. It is, D&F point out, “to Shakespeare’s credit that, as usual, he grants them a humanity which makes them more than caricatures” in the three plays that mentions them: A Winter’s Take, All’s Well that Ends Well, and Pericles.
  • Roland, hero of Chanson de Roland from the Middle Ages, was a figure well known to Shakespeare’s audience. A “childe”, which Roland was, is the highest level of an apprentice knight.  Childe Roland was mentioned in Henry VI Part One and King Lear.
  • Russia was in Shakespeare’s time an exotic place but well known in England because of active trade between the two countries and because Ivan the Terrible had proposed marriage to Queen Elizabeth (now that would have been interesting). Russia as a country is only mentioned in Measure for Measure.
Shakespeare sightings:
  • The novel The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton is about an actor, Laurel, who is going to be in Macbeth. She mentions this several times. She also says that she ought to leave off reading Shakespeare for a while because she sees too much drama in real life. She also meets a professor who has written Contemporary Interpretations of Shakespeare’s Tragedies.
  • The novel We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Foweler also has a thespian who gets work in a Shakespeare company. The main charcater Rose also sees portents like the ones in Julius Caesar that “even Caliban, a couple of plays over, would notice.” Macbeth is mentioned. Rosemary’s brother has “a lean and hungry look that Shakespeare found so dangerous”. And Rosemary wonders at one point, “Who did I think I was? Hamlet?”
  • In Jamaica Inn, the 1930’s classic by Daphne Du Maurier, the vicar of Altarnun tells the main character, “If it were permitted to take our text from Shakespeare, there would be strange sermons preached in Corwall tomorrow, Mary Yellan.” This just after the quote, “Our bright days are done, and we are for the dark.” This (I  googled it, not remembereing it, is from Antony and Cleopatra.)
  • In the novel The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, the main character Theo has done Macbeth in school.
  • In the novel Raven Black by Ann Cleeves one of the teachers has done A Midsummer Night’s Dream with his students. One of his students had also worked with Macbeth.
  • In the novel The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore one of the teenage aliens with superpowers compares a couple of others with Romeo and Juliet.
  • In the altogether more important and serious book This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein (read it! It’s still possible to limit the damage of climate change if we change the whole system now!), a Blockadia action shut down a gas power station for some time on the River Trent, which, as Klein points out, is described in Henry IV as Silver Trent.
  • One of my dear students, KW, wrote in her essay about how important books are to her, “When I was a teenager I discovered Shakespeare.” She goes on to explain how deeply she still feels the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.
  • In Stephen King’s latest novel Mr. Mercedes, the mass murder psycho villain, while preparing another nefarious deed, thinks: “...how did Shakespeare put it? Taking arms against a sea of trouble.”
  • Dagens Nyheter calls the production of Othello at Stockholm’s Stadsteater “a refreshing allegory on the political situation” in Sweden today (it’s a bit of a mess).  The play has been reduced to an hour and a half and takes place on a skateboard ramp. Well, that sounds interesting. 
  • We’ve been watching the old series Veronica Mars and find these teenagers quite Shakespearean:
    • There are posters for a high school productions of Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar in one of the classrooms.
    • Wallace (if I remember correctly, I didn’t note it down) is given the task as punishment of alphabetising books and points out sarcastically to Veronica (or somebody) that Shakespeare comes before Wordsworth and Hamlet before Macbeth.
    • Logan reminds his less than fatherly father, who is pretending to be fatherly by preparing a crab salad for Logan, that he is allergic to shellfish and what his dad proposes to feed him will cause him to “shuffle off this mortal coil.”
    • Veronica says that finally the million chimps with a million typewriters must have written King Lear because her arch enemy Sheriff Lamb is right about something.
  • In the introduction to Leo Tolstoy’s Childhood, Boyhood, Youth we are told that Tolstoy started reading Shakespeare in 1870 when he was more than forty years old, which is maybe why Shakespeare is only mentioned once in this early trilogy: the main character ridicules a fellow student for mispronouncing many words, for example “Shake-speare” instead of “Shake-speare.”
  • In the 2015 edition of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide (sadly, the last one!), of which I’ve read (sort of) about half, Shakespeare is mentioned in non-Shakespeare films several times:
    • Dante’s Peak is given three stars of four with the words, “Critics dumped on the first of 1997’s two volcano movies, but hey – in ain’t supposed to be Henry V.
    • Free Enterprise (also three stars) with William Shatner, is about William Shatner wanting to direct a stage production of Julius Caesar with himself in the title role.  I’d like to see that film.
    • The King Is Alive is actually a spin-off. It’s about a group of people stranded in a desert who pass the time by doing a production of King Lear. Maltin didn’t like it but I think it sounds interesting.
Further since last time:
  • Watched: Shakespeare Wallah
  • Watched: Shakespeare in Love
  • Started: Editing the texts on Shakespeare Calling in preparation for the book version.
  • Wrote: “ A Look Back and a Look Forward”
Posted this month:
  • This report
  • “A Look Back and a Look Forward” in Ruby’s Reflections
  • Review of Shakespeare Wallah
  • Review of Shakespeare in Love

A Look Back and a Look Forward


A Look Back and a Look Forward
Three Years of Shakespeare Calling

It is now more than a month since I wrote anything for Shakespeare Calling, even longer since Hal and I finished reading The Tempest. I miss Shakespeare like a dear friend who has gone on a long voyage with only the slightest possibility of infrequent and faulty communication.  I know he’s alive and well and will return but I don’t know when.  I don’t know how he and I will have changed when we meet again. I don’t know how Hal and I will accommodate him back into our daily lives.  I’m filled with pleasant anticipation.
My thoughts are also filled with the three and a half years that have passed since starting Shakespeare Calling. If you’ve read the introduction “Why Shakespeare?” you may recall that after only sporadic contact with Shakespeare throughout our lives, Hal and I decided in 2008 to read all of the plays aloud to each other, which we did.  And when we had done that we realised that we had to do it again immediately. There was so much to explore. And being addicted to writing, I had to write about it. And being interested in connecting to others, Shakespeare Calling came into being.
An astounding thing, a blog.  SC has not become one of the internet phenomena with millions of hits and a film contract but I find it amazing enough that to date almost 30,000 visitors have found their way to the blog, from all round the world. Dear visitors, thank you for visiting and how in the world did you find SC?

Some statistics:
The blog functions offer some statistics but not everything. I still find them interesting.
The countries from which the most visitors have come are the US, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France, the Ukraine, Canada, Russia, Australia and Poland (that’s as far as the list goes).
The posts most visited have been: “Who’s There? in Hamlet”, “Love is Strange” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Celia” in As You Like It”, “Is This Love?” in Much Ado About Nothing, “Don’t Trust Anyone over Thirty (or Twenty-Eight), Adults vs. Kids” in Romeo and Juliet, the review of Marxist Shakespeares edited by Jean E. Howard and Scott Cutler Shershow, “Can You Do That to Shakespeare?” , the review of Eric Mallin’s Godless Shakespeare, “The Magic of Macbeth”, and “The Breaking of Katherine’s Spirit” in The Taming of a Shrew.
Most commented on: “Can You Do That to Shakespeare?”,  “Don’t Trust Anyone over Thirty (or Twenty-Eight), Adults vs. Kids” in Romeo and Juliet, the review of Shakespeare – The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson, “Does Anybody Like Antony and Cleopatra”?, “Who’s There?” in Hamlet, “She’s All That” in Henry VI Part One, “Love is Strange” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and “The Breaking of Katherine’s Spirit” in The Taming of a Shrew.

The followers:
One husband, four colleagues/friends, one travel companion, two old friends, one niece, two former students and to my great surprise and gratification three complete strangers from three parts of the world. Thank you all for your interest and support.

The comments:
When starting the blog I envisioned a lively discussion with Shakespeareans around the world.  There has been less discussion than I had hoped for but in fact some very interesting comments have been written and a few discussions have taken place. One of the most interesting was with an unknown girl in South Korea who greatly admires Joan of Arc and she was politely upset about how her idol was treated by Shakespeare and me (“She’s All That” in Henry VI Part One). An amusing comment came from a rabid believer that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare’s plays in response to my review of Contested Will by James Shapiro.  The variety of comments throughout the blog is quite amazing really so thanks to all of you who wrote. A special kudos goes to blog follower Alexander, who tops the list by a mile with his witty, thoughtful and analytical comments on many of the texts.  I’m not sure which is more enjoyable – when we agree or when we don’t.

The films:
It all started in the Dark Ages of the 1960’s when I saw Romeo and Juliet in a drive-in cinema with my then boy friend (who guaranteed was no Shakespearean). And continued when Hal and I saw Branagh’s Henry V and Shakespeare in Love in the 90’s.  Since starting the blog and reading the plays this time round we have seen more than a hundred Shakespeare films and spin-offs. And we have a dozen or so that we bought after having read the play and so haven’t seen yet. And more Shakespeare films are being made every day.

The plays:
That started seriously in 2008 when we were planning a trip to London and said, “It’s high time we saw a Shakespeare play in English!” It was early April so the Globe hadn’t opened yet for the season. Our first in-English-on-stage Shakespeare play was therefore what was on at the Roundhouse: Henry IV Part Two.  Since then we’ve seen half a dozen or so productions in Swedish in Stockholm and surrounding suburbs and five at the Globe in London. In future? Two more at the Globe in April and one day it would be nice to see something in Stratford.  And I dearly want to see Hamlet in English on stage.

The future:
First, Shakespeare Calling in book form.  I’ve started the editing. It’s a big job and I’m afraid it will be a great fat brick of a book but my ambition is to release it in the summer or early autumn.
After that?  All that is certain is that Hal and I are not finished with Shakespeare. We are going to read the plays again. But in what order? In what combination? Who knows?
What I do know is that Shakespeare has touched every aspect of my life and enriched it.  I know that Shakespeare’s plays are living entities that continue to grow and develop and shed enlightenment upon us and our lives and our time in history.  And I know that not just for me but for the whole world, for a long time to come, Shakespeare will call us.
I look forward to continuing to answer that call together with other Shakespeare enthusiasts around the world, new and old, on the blog.
See you on Shakespeare Calling.

All the best,
Ruby


January 2015



Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday November 24 2014


And so the day has arrived.  The last Monday report, and the posting of the last play analysis for this first three-year Shakespeare marathon.  Three years of Shakespeare Calling.  Things will change now. I’m not quite sure how.  The Monday Reports will become the Monthly Reports. A Ruby’s Reflection on these three years will show up in January, and further reflections will probably be posted.  Eventually Hal and I will start reading the plays again but in what order we haven’t decided. We have several unseen films.
But the biggest project, on which I will begin work in January, is to publish these three years of Shakespeare Calling in book form.  I don’t know how long it will take, but I’m looking forward to the work it entails. 
Many thoughts and feelings arise as I write this last Monday report.  They will be expressed in the promised Ruby’s Reflection but for now, I would just like to thank you all for your support and interest in the blog, and present the Monday Report for November 24, 2014, a grey and windy day in Stockholm.

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • Prince of Wales is the title, as we know, now held but Charles, the heir to the throne.  It is a title held by the heirs to the throne since Edward I gave the title to his son Edward II in 1284 when the once proudly independent Wales had been conquered. The title is used in Richard II, Henry IV Part Two and Henry V.
  • Prospero. How appropriate that we’ve come at this point to this lead character from The Tempest in our reading of D+F.  There are several Prospero’s throughout Italian history who could be the basis for Shakespeare’s character, or Shakespeare could have been thinking of a riding master in London whom he might have known personally.  The name means “favourable”.
Shakespeare sightings:
  • The novel Half Bad by Sally Green has on the page after the Table of Contents a quote from Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  Near the end of the book one of the characters points out to the protagonist Nathan that “the course of true love never did run smooth.” And in her acknowledgments Sally Green explains that while Shakespeare hasn’t played a big role in her life, she has seen Hamlet in film versions and the quote mentioned above “was a key element in the forming” of the story.
  • In the novel The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton one of the young characters thinks: “...no matter how many pounds of flesh she had to give,” she would see to it that she kept her job.  It hardly seems likely that she’s thinking about Shakespeare or even knows that it’s a quote, or if the author does.
  • In the film From Russia with Love, James Bond says as he heads out on a dangerous mission, “Once more unto the breach.”
Further since last time:
  • Watched: the rest of the Canadian series Slings and Arrows, received from friends KJG and JG, about a theatre troupe putting on Shakespeare plays. It is such a good series!  It’s really a must for all Shakespeare enthusiasts. Sadly it’s difficult to find these days. We bought it used on that vast internet store that starts with an A. If you don’t find it on Netflix or any of the other internet film streamers, bombard them with emails until they offer it. You simply must see it.
  • Announced by the Globe: the plays that will be on when we’re in London in April: The Merchant of Venice on the weekend and Romeo and Juliet, premiering on the Monday. Undeniably giants and it will be a privilege to see them, in the Globe!
Posted this week:
  • This Monday report
  • “Freedom in The Tempest”.  




Freedom in The Tempest


Freedom
in
The Tempest

Prospero:
How now? Moody?
What is’t thou canst demand?

Ariel:
My liberty

                      “My liberty.” My liberty.  Strong words.  Words that resound throughout so much of human history. They are the words that stay with me with every reading of The Tempest.  And these are words that Ariel says again and again throughout the play. Ariel wants to be free.
                      In Act 1:2 he has just told Prospero that he has performed the task he had been “bade” (ordered? asked? requested) to do – create the storm.  He reports that he has “flamed amazement”, “created Jove’s lightning” with “dreadful thunderclaps” and “roaring...bold waves” and “a fever of the mad” to the crew and passengers of the ship, all without harming anyone.  He has “dispersed” the king and his companions, he has put the crew to sleep and sent the rest of the fleet back to Naples.
                      No small task, this. Why doesn’t Prospero do it himself? He’s the one who is supposed to have magic. But it’s Ariel who has the magic, and Prospero has power over Ariel.  Why?  Interesting question.
                      Prospero is pleased enough with Ariel’s report but says there is more to be done. Ariel replies:

Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains,
Let me remember thee what thou hast promised
Which is not yet performed me.

Then comes the exchange quoted above.

Prospero:
How now? Moody?
What is’t thou canst demand?

Ariel:
My liberty

                      Prospero is harsh. “Before the time be out? No more!” Ariel politely reminds him, “I have done thee worthy service.” Prospero demands:

Dost thou forget
From what a torment I did free thee?

Ariel says simply, “No.”
                      Of course he hasn’t forgotten.
We learn his story from Prospero. Ariel was a free spirit on the island when the evil Algerian witch Sycorax was banished to the island with her son Caliban.   For refusing to obey her commands Sycorax confined Ariel to a “cloven pine” where he remained imprisoned and in pain, groaning and in torment until released by Prospero.
                      Of course he hasn’t forgotten but Prospero mocks him by reminding him of the details of his painful captivity and asking him if the suffering he goes through for Prospero is anything to complain about:

Thou...think’st it much to tread the ooze
Of the salt deep,
To run upon the sharp wind of the north,
To do me business in the veins o’th’ earth
When it’s baked with frost.

                      Though this in fact sounds very unpleasant, if not sadistic, Ariel denies thinking it too much, he denies forgetting the torments of Sycorax’s imprisonment and he thanks Prospero for releasing him from the tree, but Prospero scoffs at him, refuses to listen to him – “thou liest, malignant thing” – calls him “dull thing” and threatens him:

If thou more murmur’st, I will render oak,
And peg thee in his knotty entrails till
Thou hast howled away twelve winters.

                      Ariel begs his pardon and promises to obey.
                      Why is Prospero so hateful?  Why does he gloat over Ariel’s anguish?  He demands that Ariel be beholden to him, he demands subordination from Ariel. And in the next breath he promises, “after two days / I will discharge thee.” This must be confusing for poor Ariel.
                      But Ariel does as he is bid.  He sings to Ferdinand and brings the young prince to Miranda. For this Prospero says, “Delicate Ariel / I’ll set thee free for this” (Act1.2). So Ariel is spurred on to obey Prospero further. His freedom is, perhaps, within reach.
                      He goes on to enchant Gonzalo and Alonso to sleep with his music, then to save their lives by waking them when they are threatened by Sebastian and Antonio. He causes (probably) the storm that brings Caliban, Trinculo and Stefano together. He overhears their plot to murder Prospero, he scares Trinculo and Stefano with his music. Caliban is not frightened. He is used to Ariel’s invisibility and his music and in one of Shakespeare’s most moving moments Caliban marvels at the depth of feeling to which Ariel’s music moves him. The relationship between Ariel and Caliban would be worth a book itself: Ariel is born (or whatever) in freedom, imprisoned by Sycorax. Caliban is born free, then enslaved by Prospero. Ariel is bound to perform magic of the elements for Prospero. What magic did Prospero require of him in the twelve years since Prospero and Miranda came to the island? Caliban is bound to perform hard physical domestic labour. Why doesn’t Caliban have magic?  His mother was a witch, after all.  Do Caliban and Ariel actually have any contact with each other? Caliban tells Trinculo and Stefano that the other spirits hate Prospero – does he include Ariel?
                      Does Ariel hate Prospero? No, not at all. It’s not in him to hate. He harms no one.  He frightens them, he sends them into temporary madness, he rages at the villains for their villainy and describes their crimes to them in detail. But when they are captured and Prospero could – would? – wreak his violent vengeance upon them Ariel says:

Your charm so strongly works ‘em
That if you now beheld them your affections
Would become tender.

                      Prospero asks, “Dost thou think so, spirit?”
                      And Ariel replies, in one of Shakespeare’s sweetest, most poignant and,  perhaps, most wistful lines, “Mine would, sir, were I human” (Act 5.1).
                      And Prospero does as Ariel says:

The rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance....
....Go release them, Ariel. (Act 5.1 as are all following quotes)

                      Exit Ariel. Thereupon follows Prospero’s soliloquy in which he describes all the magic he can do (but never showed us himself), ending with, “This rough magic / I here abjure.”
                      Ariel rounds up the miscreants. Prospero praises him and for the nth time promises him his freedom: “Ariel! I shall miss thee, / But yet thou shalt have freedom.”
                      Ariel brings in the ship’s master and boatswain and asks, “Was’t well done?”’
                      Prospero: “Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt be free.”
                      Ariel fetches Caliban, Trinculo and Stefano to be chastised and sent away.
                      And with that, all is resolved and finally Prospero says, in an aside since Ariel is invisible to all others:

My Ariel, chick,
That is thy charge. Then to the elements
Be free, and fare thou well.

                      Exit Ariel. To his freedom.
                     
                      Let’s look again at the concept of freedom throughout the play. Ariel brings it up first but also Caliban, Stefano and Trinculo, and finally Prospero whose last words to the audience are the plea to “set me free.”  As we have noted both Ariel and Caliban came into being as free agents. Stefano and Trinculo as servants have never been free and never will be. Prospero, first as duke with state duties, then as an exile, has freedom of power over others but what is that power, on the island, without Ariel?  Ariel is the one with the magic.  His is the magic we see all through the play.  Prospero talks – boasts if you will – about his vast magical exploits but we don’t see them. It’s only Ariel’s magic that we witness on stage and when Ariel is finally released Prospero has no reason to stay on the island.  Again, one could ask what Prospero had ordered Ariel to do all those years before the ship arrived but that is somehow uninteresting. The play is in the now.  In this play Ariel is not free and that’s all he wants. Prospero, like many of Shakespeare’s fathers, is a cruel tyrant who becomes a loving parent. So too with Ariel. Prospero is a cruel father figure to Ariel and then as a loving father releases all of his children, Ariel, Caliban and Miranda.  But the relationship between Prospero and Ariel has a twist. As noted, Ariel is in servitude at the same time as he’s the one with the power.  It slowly emerges that he could probably have been free all along but has stayed with Prospero out of kindness and the gratitude that Prospero refused to acknowledge.  In the end Prospero does as Ariel says.  He sets the villains free. He sets Caliban free. And he sets Ariel free.
                      In the end they all go back to Milan and Naples. Except Caliban. Who is free and once more in command of his island.  And alone.
                      And except for Ariel. Where is Ariel? He’s out there somewhere. Free. I wish him well.
                     

 
While I didn’t use quotes from any secondary sources the following were of great help in my analysis:
  • The Norton Shakespeare, based on the Oxford Edition. Ed. Greenblatt, Stephen et al. Second edition. 2008.
  • Greenblatt, Stephen.  “Introduction” in The Norton Shakespeare, based on the Oxford Edition.
  • Greenblatt, Stephen. Shakespeare’s Freedom. The University of Chicago Press, 2010.
  • Kott, Jan. Shakespeare Our Contemporary.  Norton, 1974.
Films seen:
  • The Tempest, BBC, 1980. Director: John Gorrie. Cast:  Prospero – Michael Hordern; Ariel – David Dixon; Caliban – Warren Clark; Miranda – Pippa Guard ; Ferdinand – Christopher Guard; Gonzalo – John Nettleton; Trinculo – Andrew Sachs; Stephano  – Nigel Hawthorne. A thoroughly lacklustre production!  What a shame for such a rich play.  Dixon as a dead-eyed, campy, nearly naked, lizardy strutting breathy Ariel is just so wrong. The only bright parts are when Trinculo and Stephano are on stage. Nigel Hawthorne is often very funny and it’s not strange that Stephano reminds me constantly of Manuel in Fawlty Towers because that’s who he is.
  • The Tempest 1979. Director: Derek Jarman. Cast:  Prospero –Heathcote Williams; Ariel – Karl Johnson; Caliban – Jack Birkett; Miranda – Toyah Willcox; Ferdinand – David Meyer. A bizarre and not terribly likeable interpretation.  You might think it’s worth seeing. I found it so but only just. http://rubyjandsmovieblog.blogspot.se/2014/10/the-tempest-jarman.html
  • Prospero’s Books 1991. Director:  Peter Greenaway. Cast:  Prospero – John Gielgud. This is a dreadful film. Lavish to the point of nauseating, it makes one want to go on a cinematic diet of the equivalent of brown rice and raw carrots for a month. http://rubyjandsmovieblog.blogspot.se/2014/11/prosperos-books.html
  • The Tempest 2010. Director: Julie Taymor. Cast:  Prospera – Helen Mirren; Ariel – Ben Whishaw; Caliban – Djimon Hounsou; Miranda – Felicity Jones; Ferdinand – Reeve Carney; Gonzalo – Tom Conti; Trinculo – Russell Brand; Stephano  – Alan Cumming. By far the best film version.  Strong visual effects, strong acting (mostly) and powerfully set in Hawaii. After the not-so-great to really-bad films so far, this was a relief to see! http://rubyjandsmovieblog.blogspot.se/2014/11/the-tempest-taymor.html
  • The Tempest 2014.  Director: Jeremy Herrin . Cast:  Prospero – Roger Allam; Ariel – Colin Morgan; Caliban – James Garnon; Miranda – Jessie Buckley; Ferdinand – Joshua James; Gonzalo – Pip Donaghy; Trinculo – Trevor Fox; Stefano  – Sam Cox. The overwhelming memory of having seen this at the Globe – our first! – is only heightened by the close-ups in the film.  The interpretation is more light-hearted than mine but I accept that utterly.  Roger Allam is just so good. He makes Prospero actually likable. Colin Morgan does a poignant, spritely, funny Ariel who leaps and flies around the stage and still projects with blinks and twitches a sensitive and magical character.  James Garnon as Caliban is a bit too much but Sam Cox balances that as a low key and very funny Stefano.  Jessie Buckley and Joshua James are perfect as the daft young lovers – finally a version in which they are not wimpy!  This is a production we are sure to watch many times just for the sheer pleasure of it. http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/shop/product/2013-season-shakespeares-globe-the-tempest-dvd/1733

Seen on stage:
  • On December 31, 2010 at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm.  In my Ruby’s Reflection “Can You Do that to Shakespeare?” http://bloggingshakespeare.com/can-you-do-that-to-shakespeare I asked, “Can Caliban really be played by a twitchy grunge Goth behaving like a speed freak?” and my answer was, absolutely.  Jonas Carlsson as Caliban was a genius. Sadly Örjan Ramberg as Prospero was dreadful. The rest of the production was quite good.
  • On June 16, 2013 at the Globe in London. See above.