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Shakespeare in film, comic books, and a new App | Bard in Multimedia

By September 29, 2014 No Comments

This week’s Bard in Multimedia includes news on a newly digitally captured stage production, a Shakespeare influenced comic book and a new educational app for iPads and iPods.

For the first time in 45 years, the Royal Shakespeare Company has produced a full-length stage production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This historic event has been digitally captured as part of RSC’s “Live From Stratford-upon-Avon” program and can be seen in theaters around the U.S. and Europe.

The talented cast includes Mark Arends as Proteus, Michael Marcus as Valentine, Pearl Chanda as Julia and Sarah MacRae as Silvia. For the uninitiated, Valentine and Proteus—the two gentlemen of Verona—are best friends until they both fall in love with the same woman—Silvia, the Duke’s daughter. Valentine meets the fair Silvia first and the two lovers plan to elope because Silvia’s father doesn’t approve of Valentine. Comedy ensues, as friends become rivals, and the jealous and fickle Proteus, who once loved his betrothed Julia, now plots to stop the two from eloping. Julia, realizing something is amiss, dresses in drag to spy on her Proteus, and soon the four lovers are caught in a wild chase of mistaken identity. A film clip from act 2, scene 1 with Valentine (Michael Marcus) and his servant Speed (Martin Bassindale) can be seen on RSC’s YouTube channel.

London’s Evening Standard calls director Simon Godwin’s production “An ebullient comedy of youthful love.” And the Daily Telegraph writes, “’A superbly fleet-footed production of a play in which sunny comic exuberance is disconcertingly darkened by ominous shadows.”

For information on show dates and locations go to RSC’s site. Next on RSC’s roaster of “Live From Stratford-upon-Avon” will be Love Labour’s Lost, which will be in cinemas in February 2015.

Shakespeare App:

A clip from Shakespeare at Play's production of Hamlet.

A clip from Shakespeare at Play’s production of Hamlet.

Toronto’s Shakespeare at Play has created an iPhone and iPad app so students can watch Shakespeare’s characters, scenes and lines on video as they read along. The app provides introductions, a dictionary (just touch a word and the definition will pop up), and character descriptions. So far the company has produced Macbeth, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. Currently, the company is working on a web version.

Shakespeare in Comic Books:

Kill Shakespeare's conclusion to its Mask of Night will be in comic book stores this Wednesday.

Kill Shakespeare’s conclusion to its Mask of Night will be in comic book stores this Wednesday.

Kill Shakespeare authors Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery will release the conclusion in their serial comic book Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night this Wednesday. The conclusion opens with a battle at sea during a storm. The cannibal Captain Lucius has betrayed Viola and Hamlet, who “must undertake an odds-defying mission to punish a murder most foul.”

Deborah Voorhees writes reviews, features, and a weekly column Bard in Multimedia that publishes each Monday and covers books, films, recordings, web content, videos, video games, radio, television, and all emerging mediums. Send press releases and comments to the Associate Editor for Multimedia, Deborah Voorhees at multimedia@theshakespearestandard.com.

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