King Lear

Shakespeare Everywhere- Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa is one of the most influential filmmakers in not only his home country of Japan, but the entire world. With a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Kurosawa received accolades from around the globe, including a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award!

akira-kurosawa-george-lucas-steven-spielberg

Akira Kurosawa, pictured with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, after he accepts his Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1990.

Known for being a completely hands-on director, Kurosawa was involved in the writing, directing, and editing of all of his films. Shakespeare was a continued source of inspiration for him, as he released three films between 1957 and 1985 that were inspired by the Bard’s works.

Throne of Blood (1957) was inspired by Macbeth.


The Bad Sleep Well
(1960) was inspired by Hamlet.


Ran (1985) was inspired by King Lear.

Kurosawa managed to create fresh and original adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, while still staying true to the original themes and stories of the plays he drew inspiration from. Do you agree? Why or why not? Leave us a comment!

LEAR, March 5-10 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013

Clare Coulter March 5-10 @ Harbourfront CentrePhoto: Guntar Cravis

Clare Coulter
LEAR
March 5-10 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013
Photo: Guntar Cravis

 

“Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ th’ world…”

~ King Lear, III.ii ~

 

The world premiere of Philip McKee’s LEAR hits the Harbourfront Centre’s Studio Theatre tomorrow, as part of World Stage 2013:

Canadian performance legend Clare Coulter steps into the title role of Shakespeare’s King Lear in this reinvigorated and sensitive overturning of a timeless tragedy. The World Stage presentation of LEAR was developed from a performance that appeared at Harbourfront Centre in 2011 as part of the HATCH performing arts residency program.

There are limited tickets remaining.  For tickets, click here.

 

 

She She Pop & Their Fathers: TestamentApril 17-20 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013Photo: She She Pop

She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament
April 17-20 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013
Photo: She She Pop

 

If that isn’t enough Lear for you, She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament takes to the Harbourfront Centre stage this spring, April 17-20.

Mirroring the story of King Lear and his daughters, She She Pop members take to the stage with their own aging fathers to enumerate their inheritances and negotiate how power, money, memory and love are passed along across the generations.  With the drive of a game show, this heart-wrenching and humorous work strives to find the intersections of responsibility and respect between parents and children.

The show is in German with English surtitles.

The opening night reception (Wednesday, April 17th) and talkshow (Thursday, April 18th) are free with the purchase of a ticket.

For tickets, click here.

What if Shakespeare…had the world’s worst CAT?

I cannot choose: sometime he angers me /With telling me of the mouldwarp and the ant, /Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies, /And of a dragon and a finless fish, /A clip-wing’d griffin and a moulten raven, /A couching lion and a ramping cat. [1] Some, that are mad if they behold a cat; /And others, when the bagpipe sings i’ the nose, /Cannot contain their urine. [2] I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he’s a cat to me. [3] civet is of a baser birth than tar. [4] You fur your gloves with reason. [5]

Purr! the cat is gray. [6] Like the poor cat i’ the adage. [7] Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries, /And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves. [8] If the cat will after kind [9], pray you, sir, use the carp as you may. [10]

The cat, with eyne of burning coal, /Now crouches fore the mouse’s hole; [11] Yet, foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally. [12] Come on your ways; open your mouth; here is that which will give language to you, cat: open your mouth. [13] The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. [14]

A pox on him, he’s a cat still. [15] Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose, /Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent! [16] Zounds … a cat, to scratch a man to death! […] Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm. [17]

Shakespeare re-arranged by Zhan Zhang.

References:

1) Henry IV, Part I [III. 1.1693-1698]

2) Merchant of Venice [IV. 1. 1980]

3) All’s Well That Ends Well [IV. 3. 2320]

4) As You Like It [III. 2. 1180]

5) Troilus and Cressida [II. 2. 1028]

6) King Lear [III. 6. 2049]

7) Macbeth [I. 7. 522]

8) Henry V [I. 2. 321]

9) As You Like It [III. 2. 1213]

10) All’s Well That Ends Well [V. 2. 2636]

11) Pericles [III. 0. 1123]

12) Rape of Lucrece 605

13) Tempest [II. 2. 1171]

14) Hamlet [V, 1.3638]

15) All’s Well That Ends Well [IV. 3. 2357]

16) Midsummer Night’s Dream [III. 2.1303]

17) Romeo and Juliet [III. 1. 1605-1609]

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER? (January Edition)

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 7-13th

MONDAY:  Hideous winter… / Sap checked with frost and lusty leaves quite gone / Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where (1). When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks (2).  High 0.

TUESDAY:  The blushing discontented sun / …perceives the envious clouds are bent / To dim his glory (3).  The more fair and crystal is the sky / The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly (4).  High 2.

WEDNESDAY:  Adding to clouds more clouds (5).  The winds grow high (6), the winds and persecutions of the sky (7).  High 5.

THURSDAY:   The sun breaks through the darkest clouds (8). To the brightest beams / Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth / The time is fair again! (9)  High 5.

FRIDAY:  A hot January (10) – This goodly summer with your winter mix’d (11).  The childing autumn, angry winter, change / Their wonted liveries (12). High 9.

THE WEEKEND – SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Our day is gone; / Clouds, dews, and dangers come (13), cloud of winter showers (14), winter’s drizzled snow (15).  High 4 and 2.

1)  Sonnet 5

2)  Richard III, 2.3

3)  Richard II, 3.3

4)  Richard II, 1.1

5)  Romeo & Juliet, 1.1

6)  Henry VI, Part II; 2.1

7)  King Lear, 2.3

8)  Taming of the Shrew, 4.3

9)  All’s Well That Ends Well, 5.3

10)  Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1

11)  Titus Andronicus, 5.2

12)  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2.1

13)  Julius Caesar, 5.3

14)  Timon of Athens, 2.2

15)  Comedy of Errors, 5.1

Shakespeare re-arranged by Laboni

What if Shakespeare…were a FRAUD?

Image

[The Tudors’ secret police court, the Star Chamber. Enter JUDGE, PROSECUTOR, and QUEEN ELiZABETH I; SHAKESPEARE sits in chains in the centre of the room.]

Judge:
Either you must
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Or be accused of folly. (1)

Shakespeare:
An’t shall please your majesty, I never said nor
thought any such matter: God is my witness, I am
falsely accused by the villain. (2)

Queen:
Ah, what’s more dangerous than this fond affiance!
Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrowed,
For he’s disposed as the hateful raven:
Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,
For he’s inclined as is the ravenous wolf.
Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man. (3)

Shakespeare:
Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might
safely be admitted. (4)

Prosecutor:
I will not excuse you; you shall not be excus’d;
shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you
not be excus’d. (5)

Shakespeare
Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you, (6)
I am alone the villain of the earth,
And feel I am so most. (7)
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever, (8)
The fraud of England, not the force of France,
Hath now entrapp’d the noble-minded[.] (9)
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word. (10)
It shall be fickle, false and full of fraud, (11)
Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish. (12)
Thus do I ever make my fool my purse: (13)
And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod. (14)
I told him what I thought, and told no more
Than what he found himself was apt and true. (15)

Judge:
He said the truth: and what said Surrey then? (16)

Shakespeare:
To tell you true, I counterfeit him. (17)

Queen:
Thou liest:
Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
Have burnt that tongue than said so. (18)

Shakespeare:
Alas!
I am as true as truth’s simplicity
And simpler than the infancy of truth. (19)
The base
Shall top th’ legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards! (20)

Judge:
Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters? (21)
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? (22)

Shakespeare:
Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
From this time forth I never will speak word. (23)

Queen:
What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you! (24)

Shakespeare:
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more. (25)

Queen:
Lo, here, the hopeless merchant of this loss,
With head declined, and voice damm’d up with woe, (26)
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck’d the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; (27)
Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell; (28)
Take hence this jack, and whip him. (29)
Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my sight!
If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest: away!
Thou’rt poison to my blood. (30)

Shakespeare:
All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
All my lady’s love is lost, God wot:
Where her faith was firmly fix’d in love,
There a nay is placed without remove. (31)

The rest is silence. (32)

—————————————————————————-

All words Shakespeare’s own, assembled by David Windrim.

Original Quotations:
(1) Menenius Agrippa, Coriolanus
(2) Thomas Horner, Henry VI Part 3
(3) Queen Margaret, Henry VI Part 3
(4) Lafeu, All’s Well That Ends Well
(5) Robert Shallow, Henry IV Part 2
(6) Domitius Enobarus, Antony and Cleopatra
(7) Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well
(8) Balthasar, Much Ado About Nothing
(9) Sir William Lucy, Henry VI, Part 1
(10) Luciana, The Comedy of Errors
(11) Venus and Adonis
(12) Duke of Clarence, Richard III
(13) Iago, Othello
(14) First Gentleman, Henry VIII
(15) Iago, Othello
(16) Richard III, Richard III
(17) Antonio, The Merchant Of Venice
(18) Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII
(19) Troilus, Troilus and Cressida
(20) Edmund, King Lear
(21) Henry IV, Henry IV Part 2
(22) Brutus, Julius Caesar
(23) Iago, Othello
(24) Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
(25) Aaron, Titus Andronicus
(26) The Rape of Lucrece
(27) Ophelia, Hamlet
(28) Lady Anne, Richard III
(29) Antony, Antony and Cleopatra.
(30) Cymbeline, Cymbeline
(31) The Passionate Pilgrim

(32) Hamlet, Hamlet

What if Shakespeare… ran a HALLOWEEN SHOP?


Something wicked this way comes…

Shakes-store

“Come hither, come, come, come!” [1] “Be truly welcome hither” [2]. “Come, go in: / I’ll show thee some attires” [3]. “What is it you will see?” [4] “Be what thou wilt” [5]. “A Persian Prince” [6] “say you sir?” [7] “I like that well” [8].

“This new and gorgeous garment” [9] “fits the purpose passing well” [10]. “Quick, quick! we’ll come dress you straight: put / On the gown the while” [11].  “I do not like the fashion of your garments. / You’ll say they are Persian attire; but / Let them be chang’d” [12].

“Wouldst thou be” [13] “a gallant knight” [14], “attired like a warrior?” [15] “I’ll give thee, friend, / An armour all of gold” [16]. “It well befits you” [17]. “How like you this?” [18] “Pray you, look not sad” [19], “thou shalt have my best gown” [20].

(to attendant) “Come hither, sirrah” [21], “go fetch / My best attires” [22].

“Well, what would you say” [23] “the queen of all the fairies, / Finely attired in a robe of white” [24]. “I pray you, bear with me” [25]. “Fully satisfied” [26] “will I see thee by and by” [27].

(Aside) “Alack, alack, alack!” [28] “What should I do with him?” [29]

(to attendant) “Sirrah, a word with you” [30]. “Let’s go dress him / Like the witch of Brentford” [31].

“Good sir, draw near to me” [32]. “Behold and see” [33] “a wretched creature” [34], “spotted, detested and abominable” [35]. “So wither’d and so wild in their attire / That look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth” [36]. “What say you?” [37] “Is this the guise?” [38]

“Ay, those attires are best” [39]. “I shall give thee” [40] “a bloody mask” [41] “with great ragg’d horns” [42]. “Pray you, come near” [43], “I’ll tell you true” [44], “I am afraid, sir” [45], “to look upon the hideous” [46], “monstrous form” [47] “I see before me” [48].  “I pray thee, mark me” [49] – “with you in this garb” [50] “thou art assured” [51] “to fright the world” [52]. “And yet, I know thou wilt” [53] “win the prize” [54], “for thou look’st” [55] “second to none” [56].

Shakespeare re-arranged by Linda Nicoll

1. Anthony and Cleopatra [V. ii. 3441]
2. As You Like It [II. vii. 1096]
3. Much Ado About Nothing [III. i. 1179-80]
4. Hamlet [V. ii. 4027]
5. Henry VI. P I [V. iii. 2503]
6. The Merchant of Venice [II. i. 540
7. Cymbeline [IV. ii. 2794]
8. Pericles [II. v. 32]
9. Henry IV. P II [V. ii. 3292]
10. Titus Andronicus [II. iii. 819]
11. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. ii. 2040-41]
12. King Lear [III. vi. 80-82]
13. Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. xiv. 3067]
14. Henry IV. P I [V. iii. 2901]
15. Cymbeline [V. iv. 3168]
16. Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. viii. 2816-17]
17. Henry IV. P II [III. ii. 1934]
18. As You Like It [III. ii. 1133]
19. Anthony and Cleopatra [III. ii. 2128]
20. Pericles [II. i. 741]
21. Measure for Measure [IV. ii. 1886]
22. Anthony and Cleopatra [V. ii. 3673-74]
23. All’s Well That End Well [II. v. 1348]
24. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. iv. 2269-70]
25. As You Like It [II. iv. 729-30]
26. Henry VIII [II. iv. 1518]
27. Henry IV. P I [V. iv. 3073]
28. A Midsummer Night’s Dream [V. i. 2015]
29. Much Ado About Nothing [II. i. 426]
30. Macbeth [III. i. 1051]
31. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. ii. 2055-56]
32. Comedy of Errors [V. i. 1436]
33. Anthony and Cleopatra [I. i. 16]
34. Julius Caesar [I. ii. 207]
35. Titus Andronicus [II. iii. 810]
36. Macbeth [I. iii. 140-41]
37. Pericles [II. i. 595]
38. Henry VI. P II [I. iii. 433]
39. Romeo and Juliet [IV. iii. 2549]
40. Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. xii. 2940]
41. Henry IV. P I [III. ii. 1960]
42. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. iv. 2226]
43. Merry Wives of Windsor [III. iii. 1524]
44. Timon of Athens [I. ii. 582]
45. Taming of the Shrew [V. ii. 2589]
46. Henry IV. P II [II. iii. 1189]
47. Henry IV. P II [IV. ii. 2476]
48. Macbeth [II. i. 611]
49. The Tempest [I. ii. 189]
50. Hamlet [II. ii. 1456]
51. Sonnet 92 [2]
52. Henry VI. P II [III. ii. 1731]
53. Cymbeline [V. v. 3488]
54. Taming of the Shrew [II. i. 1195]
55. Pericles [V. i. 2323]
56. Comedy of Errors [V. i. 1430]

Shakespeare image: http://www.clipartmojo.com/shakespeare.html
Halloween image:  http://www.gograph.com/stock-illustration/tomb.html

Wordy Wednesday – “That way madness lies”

In Act III.iv of King Lear, Lear, Kent, and the Fool find themselves on a heath before a hovel.  It is stormy.  Kent urges Lear to enter the derelict little dwelling, believing that the “tyranny of the open night’s too rough / For nature to endure.”   Lear refuses to enter:

KING LEAR
Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious storm
Invades us to the skin: so ’tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fix’d,
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’ldst shun a bear;
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou’ldst meet the bear i’ the mouth. When the mind’s free,
The body’s delicate: the tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else
Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
For lifting food to’t? But I will punish home:
No, I will weep no more. In such a night
To shut me out! Pour on; I will endure.
In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril!
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all,–
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that.

Have you ever been really upset?  So upset that you can’t stop thinking about the distressing situation?

King Lear feels that the greatest storm is in his mind, in his ruminations.  He argues that one would not run away from a bear only to run towards a raging sea.  Similarly, Lear would not run away from an outdoor storm only to “run towards” an “indoor storm” – that is, the madness within.  He does not want to lose his mind.

Instead, Lear hopes that nature’s storm will distract him from his tempestuous thoughts, thoughts about how Regan and Goneril betrayed him.

Image from ClipArt ETC.