This year marks the 450th Anniversary of the birth of British playwright William Shakespeare, and in celebration BAFTA Los Angeles has been speaking with leading industry colleagues on the many screen adaptations throughout the years.
The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, from Italian director Carlo Carlei (1993's Flight of the Innocent), now has a Romeo for its Juliet. Hailee Steinfeld will be joined by 19-year old Brit Douglas Booth. This site also features scenes from the Lurhmann and Zefirelli films.
Scientists have applied for permission to exhume the body of William Shakespeare, hoping to establish how he died.A team of palaeontologists say they have made a formal application to the Church of England to excavate the playwright’s tomb, which lies inside his local parish church in Stratford-upon-Avon. Professor Thackeray, from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, said: ‘400 years after his death, Shakespeare remains one of the most famous people in history – yet nobody knows for certain how he died. Professor Francis Thackery hopes to establish how Shakespeare lived his life and what caused his death using a 3D reconstruction of his body. 'We now hope to be able to establish his full health history. ‘By accessing his remains, we hope to build a clear picture of the kind of life he led, the sicknesses he may have suffered, and hopefully what caused his death.’ 'Doing so would shed new light on his life and help us better understand the world’s most famous and respected writer.' Professor Thackeray said technology had now advanced to the stage where a skeleton could be exposed and studied without any need for it to be moved. His team has made a formal application to the Church of England for permission to open the grave and get access to Shakespeare’s remains. Professor Thackeray continued: 'The technology we would use is hi-tech and powerful, and with patience we could achieve great results while staying within the letter of the warning. 'Our dream would be to get some results from our project in time for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Professor Thackeray first made the controversial suggestion a decade ago after using modern forensic techniques to examine 24 pipes found buried in what had been the playwright’s garden. He said tests proved the instruments had been used to smoke cannabis, which by Shakespeare’s era had been cultivated in Britain for centuries.
What was it like, being Shakespeare? That's the question in Simon Callow's solo show - not, who actually wrote the plays, or how could he have known so much, or where on earth did he go.and what was he doing during the so-called ‘lost years’? With his director Tom Cairns, he is now doing something entirely different, altogether more restrained and considered. It’s quite simple. As Jonathan Bate says, maybe it was because Shakespeare was a nobody that he could become everybody: “He speaks to every nation in every age because he understood what it was to be human.”So there’s now a calm reasoning in Callow’s delivery, and he allows the verse extracts from a wide variety of plays, as well as Venus and Adonis and the sonnets, to do the real talking.It may seem hackneyed to use the “Seven Ages of Man” speech as a structure, but it makes sense as a way of discussing Shakespeare’s profound understanding of ordinary experience and everyday life. Callow’s show is a treat and a marvel, and just as impressive and enjoyable as the Shakespearean solos of Ian McKellen and Michael Pennington. How about a festival of all three?
Joelle Bouvier's version of "Romeo and Juliet," performed at Jacob's Pillow this week by Switzerland's Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve, is as potent and distilled as the sleeping draught Juliet drinks. The star-crossed lovers, the warring families, the tragic ending and even Sergei Prokofiev's score for the ballet all remain, but Bouvier has stripped the tale down to its most essential characters and its most elemental emotions.The evening-length work unfolds in a world that transcends a specific time or place: The dancers wear street clothes (dresses for the women, slacks with button-down shirts or suit jackets for the men) and the only setpiece is a large, curving ramp that the dancers slide down, hide behind or run across. Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt are clearly defined, and the rest of the company embodies both their feuding dynasties and a sort of chorus that witnesses their story.In the gorgeous, almost eerie first section, which seems to serve as a prologue or overture, Romeo (Damiano Artale) and Juliet (Madeline Wong), nearly without volition, are moved and manipulated in slow motion by two groups of dancers. Brought close together and then separated over and over again, they are at the mercy of forces beyond their control -- tribal loyalties, fate, the hand of death.The pace speeds up for the party scene, but the lovers are still kept apart; Bouvier brilliantly employs the other dancers as tangible obstacles to their union. When at last they are alone together, however, their pas de deux disappoints -- there's nothing unexpected in their blithe lifts, leaps and embraces. It's only later, when they intersect in a tender, erotic duet, and when she repeatedly launches herself like an arrow into his arms, that we feel their longing for each other.The fight scenes between Tybalt (the striking Loris Bonani) and Mercutio (Nathanael Marie), and between Romeo and Tybalt, are nearly as intimate as the love duets; the men charge and embrace each other with equal power. No mimed stabbings or melodramatic death throes for Bouvier -- instead, we watch the life quietly run out of her heroes. The final moments of the piece are similarly piercing yet understated. Romeo dances a desperate duet with Juliet's limp body before sinking to his knees, across the stage from his now-awake love, who takes the same defeated pose.What's missing in this masterfully rendered, intensely fraught work are the moments of lightness and comic relief, for which Shakespeare could always be depended upon. He understood that a steady diet of exquisite beauty and undiluted passion could get monotonous.
Director and writer Moira Mangiameli began Shakespeare in Two Minutes ten years ago for high school students using Romeo & Juliet. “The audience loves these, they just love them. They get so excited,” said Mangiameli. “They love being a part of it because they get to scream out what they want to see. They really feel like they’re a part of it. It’s farce, it’s slap-stick, it’s zany, it’s like we’re doing cartoons.”The audience may be more forgiving of actors going over the allotted 120 seconds. Mangiameli said push-ups are in order for each second the play runs over. “What’s wonderful about the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival is that people that are not familiar with them can come and see Shakespeare the way it was meant to be, which is not read in English class, it’s seen performed especially in such a great space as this,” said Mangiamelli.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is arguably a timeless tale, with universal themes of youthful passion, doomed romantic love and family conflict. The story existed centuries before it was made into a play, and in the modern era, it has been adapted into numerous film versions.
A troupe of young actors at the U.K.'s Royal Shakespeare Company presented an update of the Bard's Romeo and Juliet to the Twitter generation, through an online performance rolling out 140 characters at a time.
Shakespeare: huge dance fan. Check out these Bard-themed dances on DVD Washington Post Of all Shakespeare's plays, “A Midsummer Night's Dream” has the zestiest dance sensibility, with its fairy roundels from English folklore and the jaunty, singing...
For example Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous movies and plays which written by William Shakespeare in the world and so is West Side Story. They talk about forbidden love of a couple. But because their loves are so strong, so they are secretly in love. Their love stories end tragically.
Since its publication in 1597, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's timeless tragedy of young love doomed to be torn apart by hate and revenge, has been studied, parodied, adapted and performed countless times. The play, a daunting piece to undertake, was nevertheless presented by Ross Sheppard High School in a polished and well-rehearsed production.
That’s where Frayne decided to tackle Shakespeare and turn The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet into something dubbed The Verona Project. Working with his cast, Frayne has steered away from any boy-meets-girl simplicity in adapting the story of teenage love. “In my view,” he says, “the play is always marketed as this romance between these two kids, but I really think it’s tragedy — obviously, that’s in the title, but I think it’s tragedy of community. These kids were guided in a way that leads to their deaths. I wanted to focus on that and how the other people, the parents and the mentors, contributed to them dying.” Frayne sets The Verona Project here and now. “It’s a place and time very much like Vancouver today,” he says, “but it’s just a bit removed, so we don’t get into the specificity of ‘the Capulets are from Shaughnessy, the Montagues are from Surrey.’” Making a modern version of Romeo and Juliet put Frayne in mind of West Side Story and especially the brutal Baz Luhrmann film version of 1996. “It’s definitely not as gunslinging as that,” Frayne says of his take on the tale, “but I think we do some neat things with some of the fights. I really wanted to explore the violence of it, I think it’s such a strong part of the play that’s maybe glossed over, not looked at and really explored.” Tybalt kills Mercutio and Romeo kills Tybalt, then Paris, then himself. Juliet does likewise, and Romeo’s mom dies of grief. Frayne’s interest in this bloodbath stems from childhood. “Youth violence is a real problem, and I connect to it,” he explains. “I grew up in a small town, and it’s something that really shapes a good part of my young life.”
English actor Douglas Booth (The Pillars of the Earth) has been cast as Romeo in Italian director Carlo Carlei’s Romeo and Juliet. Variety reports that he’ll share the big screen with Academy Award-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) who’s set to play Juliet in the film. This latest adaptation of the popular Shakespeare play, which tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers whose romance is complicated by the bitter rivalry between their two families, is said to follow a much more traditional route than previous versions. The 19-year-old was cast over hundreds of other young actors who were also vying for the part. He’ll be joining fellow actors Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl), who will play the part of Tybalt, 14-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) who is set to play Romeo’s cousin Benvolio, and actress Holly Hunter (Saving Grace) who has signed on as the Nurse. I’m glad that Carlei is taking a more traditional tone for this film. There have been so many adaptations of this play that it needs something different for me to watch it. Casting young actors and actresses is the best move he could make and so far the cast is shaping up pretty well.
BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.With the intimacy of radio the full beauty and meaning of some of the most lyrical lines ever written can be truly heard: tenderness and passion, betrayal and bigotry are brilliantly evoked as the tale comes to its tragic conclusion.Revitalised, original, and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the new millennium.
So there's these two sweet kids. They get along just swell -- all gushy and moon-faced, talkin' that love talk in between makin' out. They're so gooey for each other that their phones actually blush when they text each other, and their Twitter followers are praying they don't take a cue from Anthony Weiner and start sending each other crotch shots. (OK, we made that last part up.) And yet, "Romeo and Juliet" (Saturday through Sept. 2, Adams Shakespearean Theatre) have to put up with that problem young lovers have endured since time immemorial: the grumpy ol' in-laws. Gets pretty intense between the Montague and Capulet clans until hostilities break out and Julie starts to wonder, "Hey, where the hell art thou, Romy?" By the end? Believe us, this is no Jennifer Aniston rom-com, kids.
Is the story of Romeo & Juliet still relevant today? Do you think Shakespeare's plays should be adapted to cater to a younger audience? Or should teens be encouraged to appreciate his works in their original form?
On February 11, 2011 Disney released a new kids movie called “Gnomeo & Juliet” based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Why? What made Disney think that an animated love story about lawn gnomes would somehow be better – or, at least, more marketable — with a connection to a play first performed in London in 1595? The answer is simple: Shakespeare created one of history’s most powerful brands. Allusions to and adaptations of his plays permeate our culture, and not just in movies and TV.
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