The Online Stage heard but not seen

Shakespeare



The following productions of plays by Shakespeare are scheduled for release in 2016/2017.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Hamlet
King Lear
Macbeth
Romeo and Juliet
The Winter's Tale
Othello
Twelfth Night



A Midsummer Night's Dream

A magical tale of love frustrated, tested and finally triumphant, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. It is also one of his most accessible, and its broad humour remains vivid and compelling to this day. On the serious side, as a dramatic examination of love in all its guises – romantic, conjugal, filial, parental and patriotic - A Midsummer Night’s Dream has never been surpassed.

Cast
Grace Garrett as Hermia
Brett Downey as Lysander
Helena and Philostrate - Amanda Friday
Demetrius – Levi Throckmorton
Theseus - Ron Altman
Hippolyta and Moth - Caprisha Page
Egeus and Snout - Phil Benson
Nick Bottom - Denis Daly
Quince - Marty Krzy
Flute - Daniel Vimont
Snug - Joseph Tabler
Starveling and Mustardseed - Michele Eaton
Oberon - Peter Tucker
Titania - Tiffany Halla Colonna
Robin Goodfellow - Ben Lindsey-Clark
Fairy, First Fairy and Peaseblossom - Becca Maggie
Second Fairy and Cobweb - K.G.Cross
Stage directions read by Alan Weyman

The script for this recording was kindly provided by PlayShakespeare.com.

Link to Audio: A Midsummer Night's Dream


King Lear

Shakespeare’s King Lear ranks with the Oedipus of Sophocles as a tragic hero destroyed by his own good intentions. From the moment when Lear unfolds “his darker purpose” we are drawn into an ineluctable chain of events which leads through betrayal, deceit, destructive family conflict, reconciliation, despair and death. Considered by many to be the most grueling of Shakespeare’s tragedies – Samuel Johnson found the death of Cordelia too heart-breaking to contemplate – this play represents the work of a master dramatist at the height of his powers.


Cast
King Lear - Ron Altman
Earl of Kent - Phil Benson
Earl of Gloucester - Marty Kris
Edgar - Garrison Moore
Edmund - Jeff Moon
Fool - Alan Weyman
Goneril - Amanda Friday
Regan - Becca Maggie
Cordelia - Libby Stephenson
Duke of Cornwall - Peter Tucker
Duke of Albany - Andrew Coleman
King of France - John Burlinson
Duke of Burgundy - Tovarisch
Knight,  Old Man and Doctor - Brett Downey
Oswald - Ben Lindsey-Clark
Gentleman - Denis Daly

Stage directions read by Denis Daly

Script for this recording was kindly provided by PlayShakespeare.com.

Link to Audio:  King Lear


 The Winter's Tale

At the opening of this late Shakespearean drama, Polixenes, the King of Bohemia, has been the long-time guest of Leontes and Hermione, the King and Queen of Sicily.  When the time comes for Polixenes to leave, Leontes urges him to stay longer.  At first Polixenes refuses,  but soon yields to the entreaties of Hermione.  His rapid change of mind convinces Leontes that the two are lovers, and that Polixenes is the father of Hermione's unborn child.  Leontes’ obsessive jealously  leads him to a course of action which has potentially disastrous consequences for all concerned and for the future of his kingdom.







Cast
Leontes - Denis Daly
Hermione - Elizabeth Klett
Perdita  - Amanda Friday
Polixenes  - Ron Altman
Camillo - John Burlinson
Antigonus - Bob Neufeld
Paulina - K.G.Cross
Cleomenes - Brett Downey
Shepherd - Phil Benson
Shepherd's Son - Ben Lindsey-Clark
Autolycus - Peter Tucker
A Lord - Brian Mansi
Servant - PJ Morgan
Emilia, First Lady and Mopsa - Michele Eaton
Dorcas, Second Lady and  Time - Linda Barrans
First Gentleman, Officer and Mariner - Joseph Tabler
Mamillius - Chyanne Donnell
Archidamus, Florizell and Gentleman - Levi Throckmorton
Dion, Third Gentleman and Jailer - David Prickett
Stage directions read by Alan Weyman


The script for this recording was kindly provided by Playshakespeare at playshakespeare.com.


Link to audio: The Winter's Tale



 Macbeth

At the center of each of the four great Shakespearen tragedies.  Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear and Othello,  is a powerful figure who is led to destruction by a fatal character flaw. In the case of Macbeth it is ambition.  Initially a valiant warrior, and staunch servant of his regal overlord, Duncan, Macbeth succumbs to the lure of absolute political domination, which leads to murder, revolt and comprehensive defeat.

 Many scholars agree that Macbeth, which was first published I the First Folio of 1623 was probably written about 1606.  It was intended to be highly laudatory to the recently crowned King James I, whose accession united the crowns of England and Scotland, and who was considered to be a distant descendent of Banquo.  The play also relates a number of contemporary issues,  including witch trials and demonology, a subject in which King James had a great interest, and the Gunpowder plot of 1605.


Cast
Duncan, The Porter,  Second Murderer and Doctor - Phil Benson
Malcolm - Jeff Moon
Donalbain and Servant - Maureen Boutilier
Macbeth - Bob Neufeld
Third Witch and Lady Macbeth - Linda Barrans
Banquo and the Apparitions - Denis Daly
Sergeant and MacDuff - Brett Downey
First Witch and Lady MacDuff - Cate Barratt 
Second Witch,  MacDuff's son and Gentlewoman - Libby Stephenson
Lennox - Alan Weyman
Ross and Menteith - Marty Krzy
Angus, Third Murderer, a Lord, and  Seyton - Andrew Coleman 
First Murderer, Caithness and Soldier - Victor Bazarov
Old Man and Siward - John Burlinson
Fleance, and Young Siward - Becca Maggie
Messenger - Michele Eaton
Stage directions read by  Denis Daly

Audio edited by Denis Daly

The script for this recording was kindly provided by PlayShakespeare.com.

Link to audio: Macbeth


 Othello

The predominant theme in this Shakespearean tragedy, believed to have been written in about 1603,  is jealousy, and the destruction it causes when allowed to run rampant.  It features one of Shakespeare’s most compelling  villains ,  Iago, who skillfully manipulates his commander,  Othello,  into believing that he has been betrayed by his wife, Desdemona, and his closest friend , Cassio. 

Cast
Othello - Garrison Moore
Desdemona - Rebecca Thomas
Iago - Bob Neufeld
Emilia -  Amanda Friday
Cassio - Phil Benson
Roderigo - John Burlinson
Lodovico - Andrew Coleman
Bianca - Elizabeth Klett
Brabantio / 3rd Gentleman / Herald - Ben Lindsey-Clark
Duke / Musician / 1st Gentleman - Brett Downey
Gratiano / Sailors / 2nd Senator  - Alan Weyman
Clown  / Messenger / 2nd Gentleman  - Norman Elfer
Montano / Officer / 1st Senator - Joseph Tabler
Stage directions read by  Denis Daly

Audio edited by Denis Daly

The script for this recording was kindly provided by PlayShakespeare.com.

Link to audio: Othello

 


Twelfth Night

This play, which bears an alternate title of What You Will, was written in about 1602.  The plot consists of three basic strands:

·  The separation and eventual meeting of the identical twins, Sebastian and Viola, each of whom believes the other to have perished;

·  The triangular love relationship involving Olivia,  her unsuccessful suitor Duke Orsino and Viola, masquerading as the Duke’s male attendant under the name of Cesario;

·  A cruel and humiliating deception played upon Olivia’s pompous steward,  Malvolio, by Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s drunken uncle, and Maria, her maid.

The inevitable confusion is eventually resolved by marriage contracts between Olivia and Sebastian,  Orsino and Viola and Sir Toby Belch and Maria,  while Malvolio storms off, swearing revenge on all the conspirators in his humiliation.

Twelfth Night has always been one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies,  and many adaptations have been made for film and musical theatre.

Cast
Viola - Arielle Lipshaw
Olivia - Elizabeth Klett
Maria - Maureen Boutilier
Sir Toby Belch - Marty Kryz
Sir Andrew Aguecheek - Ron Altman
Malvolio - Ben Lindsey-Clark
Fool -  Alan Weyman
Fabian - K.G.Cross
Sebastian - Brett Downey
Antonio - John Burlinson
Duke Orsino / Servant - Denis Daly
Valentine/ First Officer / Captain  - Bob Neufeld
Curio / Second Officer  / Priest  - Joseph Tabler
Narrator - Michele Eaton

Audio edited by Denis Daly

The script for this recording was kindly provided by playshakespeare.com.


Link to audio:

Twelfth Night



 King John

The Life and Death of King John was probably written in the 1590’s but not published until the First Folio in 1623.


Of Shakespeare’s eleven history plays, King John is the one which deals with the story of a monarch most removed from Shakespeare’s time. The historical remoteness of this ruler, and also the fact that he had no genealogical links with the Tudor dynasty, enabled Shakespeare to present him in a “warts and all” fashion.  The narrative of the play mirrors accords closely with the traditional portrait of a cunning, unscrupulous, vacillating, cruel and irascible sovereign,  who managed to alienate his own nobles , France and the Roman Church.


Philip, king of France,  claims that Arthur, John’s nephew, is the rightful king of England, and threatens war if John will not abdicate.  The hot-tempered John contemptuously dismisses this claim and invades France.  Full-scale war is about to break out when Hubert, a leading citizen of Angiers,  before which both armies are encamped,  suggests an ingenious diplomatic solution to the conflict:  Philip’s son, Lewis, is to marry Blanch, John’s niece.  By this arrangement,   Philip gains territory and John’s hold on the English throne will become more secure.    All parties accede to this suggestion, except Blanch’s mother Constance, and the wedding goes ahead.  However, this happy resolution is destroyed by the arrival of Cardinal Pandulph,  the legate of the imperialistic Pope Innocent III, who excommunicates John for appointing a bishop of whom the Pope does not approve.   Philip decides that his allegiance to Rome is more important than his pact with John,  and war breaks out.  Later, Lewis invades England at the instigation of Pandulph,  who suggests that Lewis’ claim to the English throne is as strong as those of John and Arthur.  John eventually reconciles with the church,  and while a peace agreement between England and France is being arranged by Pandulph, dies, after being poisoned by a rebellious monk.

As a shrewdly incisive portrait of internecine Medieval politics,  this play has few equals,  and in the character of the Bastard, the illegitimate son of King Richard I,  one of the most compelling roles in the Shakespearean canon.

Cast
King John  - Craig Franklin 
Philip the Bastard - Andy Harrington 
Earl of Pembroke and King Philip - Denis Daly 
Chatilion, Cardinal Pandulph and Peter of Pomfret - Alan Weyman 
Earl of Essex and Hubert de Burgh - David Prickett 
Earl of Salisbury and English Herald - Steve Gough 
James Gurney, Duke of Austria, Executioner and Melune - Ben Stevens 
French Herald and Lord Bigot - Peter Tucker 
Robert Faulconbridge and Lewis the Dauphin - Russell Gold 
Arthur and Prince Henry - Becca Maggie 
Queen Elinor and English Messenger - Cate Barratt 
Constance  - P.J.Morgan 
Blanch and French Messenger - Arielle Lipshaw
Lady Faulconbridge - Linda Barrans 
Stage directions read by Elizabeth Klett.

The script for the recording has been kindly provided by PlayShakespeare.com.

Audio edited by Denis Daly.


Link to audio:

King John







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