Shakesp-Year: The Beginning

Clever? No? Okay. Well, I like it. I like a few other things, too, including the works of everybody’s favorite playwright, William “Billy” Shakespeare. A few years ago I received a degree in English Literature from the University of Connecticut and while I was there I took a course on Shakespeare, which was a wonderful learning experience. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten a bit away from the Bard after graduating. It’s hard to read Shakespeare, literally. Heh. Anyways, basically, I feel like I have to force myself to read some of his works and interact with them in all their various ways. And thus, Shakesp-Year.

Shakesp-Year will be 52 weeks long and will feature at least one post per week on some form of Shakespeare work. I hope to read some plays, maybe some alternate adaptations (Romeo and Juliet and Vampires, perhaps?), movies (both standard and more imaginatively adapted versions), filmed plays, audio versions, comic books (do those even exist?), whatever I can get my hands on. And I haven’t ever seen an actual stage version of any of his plays, so I hope to get to one of those as well. We’ll see what pops up in my area. Basically, if it’s got Shakespeare in it, on it, or around it, I’m there.

Partially, I’m going to need to rely upon you, my adoring audience, for some direction on where to go. What do you like? Who does the best Hamlet? The worst? I’m interested in everything, so lay it on me. Leave suggestions in the comments of this post (or any other upcoming Shakesp-Year posts). You’re an integral part of this process!

Penultimately, a few things I’m interested in watching/reading/listening to:

All’s Well That Ends Well

  • BBC Television Shakespeare version (1981)

As You Like It

  • BBC Television Shakespeare version (1978)
  • UK TV version (1963)

The Comedy of Errors

  • BBC Television Shakespeare version (1983)

Cymbeline

  • BBC Television Shakespeare version (1982)

Love’s Labour’s Lost

  • Musical version (2000)

Measure for Measure

  • Performance version (1995)

The Merchant of Venice

  • Play of the Month version (1972)
  • US version (1973)
  • US version (2004)

The Merry Wives of Windsor

  • Chimes at Midnight

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • US version (1935)
  • Royal Shakespeare Company version (1968)
  • The Animated Shakespeare version (1992)
  • US version (1999)

Much Ado About Nothing

  • UK version (1993)
  • ShakespeaRe-Told version (2005)
  • US version (2012/2013?)

The Taming of the Shrew

  • US version (1929)
  • US version (1967)
  • BBC Television Shakespeare version (1980)
  • Quantum Leap episode
  • Moonlighting episode
  • 10 Things I Hate about You (1999)
  • ShakespeaRe-Told version (2005)

The Tempest

  • US version (2010)
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Twelfth Night
  • UK version (1996)
  • UK TV version (2003)

Antony and Cleopatra

  • 1972 version

Coriolanus

  • BBC Television Shakespeare version (1984)

Hamlet

  • UK version (1941)
  • UK version (1996)
  • US version (2000)
  • The Bad Sleep Well
  • Strange Brew
  • The Lion King (rewatch)

Julius Caesar

  • US version (1953)
  • US version (1970)

King Lear

  • US TV version (1953)
  • New York Shakespeare Festival version (1974)
  • UK TV version (1983)
  • Royal National Theatre version (1997)
  • Ran
  • King Lear (1987)

Macbeth

  • US version (1948)
  • Roman Polanski version (rewatch)
  • Royal Shakepeare Company version (1978)
  • Scotland, PA (2001)
  • ShakespeaRe-Told  (2005)

Othello

  • US version (1952)
  • Royal National Theatre version (1965)
  • Royal Shakespeare Company version (1990)
  • US version (1995)
  • O (rewatch)

Romeo and Juliet

  • US version (1936)
  • Italy version (1968)
  • Romeo+Juliet (rewatch)

Titus Andronicus

  • Titus (1999)

Henry IV Part 1

  • An Age of Kings (1960)
  • The Hollow Crown Henry IV, Part 1 (2012)

Henry IV Part 2

  • An Age of Kings (1960)
  • The Hollow Crown Henry IV, Part 2 (2012)

Henry V

  • UK version (1944)
  • An Age of Kings (1960)
  • UK version (1989)
  • The Hollow Crown Henry V (2012)

Henry VI Part 1

  • An Age of Kings (1960)

Henry VI Part 2

  • An Age of Kings (1960)

Henry VI Part 3

  • An Age of Kings (1960)

Richard II

  • UK (1997)
  • The Hollow Crown Richard II (2012)

Richard III

  • UK version (1955)
  • An Age of Kings (1960)
  • UK version (1995) (rewatch)
  • Looking for Richard (1996)

Other things

  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Doctor Who episode: The Shakespeare Code
  • Playing Shakespeare UK TV series
  • The Black Adder series 1

So, let me know what I missed in there. Those are strictly filmed versions. If you know of a written adaptation in any medium that’s good to read, let me know that, too.

Finally, I have two reviews of Shakespeare based movies on this site so far, so to quench your thirst until Shakesp-Year begins  (I’m thinking the start of December), check out my reviews of Coriolanus and Throne of Blood.

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4 thoughts on “Shakesp-Year: The Beginning

  1. Two Ideas for You –

    1) To go along with your seeing the plays, im sure they occur in new york with some frequency with the various acting schools and locales like lincoln center. Specifically, There is the famous “Shakespeare in the park” series in central park which happens during the summer. I suspect that might make a good blog post. (Also, its to bad you don’t have a friend who lives in New York…..)

    2) I want a post dissecting the following three important things:
    a) Hottest Juliet
    b) Hottest Shakespeare Character
    c) Best Spots to use Meghan Fox in a Shakespeare Film
    d) what parts of game of thrones/harry potter share Shakespeare elements if they do(or any popular works like that)

    There are my wonderful contributions!

    JKG

    1. 1. That is too bad. Guess I’ll have to Lone Wolf it.
      2. A. She’s a teenager
      B. We’ll see
      C. Never
      D. A legitimately good topic. Probably something I’ll comment on throughout.

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