Monday, March 06, 2006

For all you Shakespeare fans...

...which is probably most of y'all, here's something from a LiveJournal blog entry entitled THE THINGS I WILL NOT DO WHEN I DIRECT A SHAKESPEARE PRODUCTION, ON STAGE OR FILM that's still going strong. (The post hit the character limit, so they've gone to a second location for entries.)

A few of the selections I particularly enjoyed:

10. I will not treat A Midsummer Night's Dream as though it were Un Chien Andalou.

22. Ariel should, ideally, wear more than Gollum.

30. As much as I enjoy his films, I will not steal from Kenneth Branagh. It's not like people won't notice.

92. I will not project a PowerPoint slideshow onto a large screen above and behind the actors, ever, for any reason, no matter what.

147. I will have a contingency plan for outdoor plays in case of disasters other than weather. For instance: search helicopters looking for fugitives in the area. The actors are accomplished clog-dancers, but it's not fair to ask them to do that for the interim.

180. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern will not enter on a miniature train.

235. I will never allow the unnecessary pause between "to be" and "or not to be" to last more than ten seconds, no matter how much the actor playing Hamlet believes it will transform him into Olivier. If he draws it out for more than twenty seconds during any rehearsal, I will recast the part. However, for the good of the production, should an actor decide he must surprise me with this behaviour in front of an audience, I will wait a full minute for him to continue before giving in to the urge to humiliate him by feeding him his line in a loud stage whisper.

308. If Shakespeare had intended for any character to say "YEEEEEEEEHAW!", it would have appeared in the text.

There are any number of replies to this particular blog posting with additional caveats, such as: "At no time will Hamlet be allowed to impale Claudius with a chandelier," "I will not show the little princes in the tower in the background as Richard plots their murder... Most of all, I will not show them playing Nintendo," and "I will not dress the mob in Julius Caesar with beer-can helmets."


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