To suit the Action to the Word, the Word to the Action

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Freedom & Art

Acting Shakespeare

This Sunday’s tweet from  @HollowCrownFans read “Good morning and welcome to #ShakespeareSunday! Today’s theme has been chosen by @PublicTheaterNY: FREEDOM & ART!” *

I was reminded of Nelson Mandela and the other anti-apartheid prisoners held on Robben Island. One, Indian prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam, had a copy of the works of William Shakespeare covered in images from greetings cards depicting Hindu gods (the guards were unlikely to take a religious book).

This book was passed among prisoners, and leaders were asked to mark their favourite passages. This 2001 article ‘O, what men dare do’ is very interesting re. this, South Africa, Shakespeare and freedom.

Probably the most famous of the prisoners who marked the ‘Robben Island Bible’ is Nelson Mandela, who had a long relationship with Shakespeare’s words / ideas. Here you can see his signature and the passage he chose, from Julius Caesar…

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‘Freedom’ appears 33 times**…

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Acting Shakespeare

@HollowCrownFans tweeted that “Today’s #ShakespeareSunday theme has been chosen by @Carnival_Films to mark 5 years of #TheHollowCrown! – POWER, DEFIANCE & SURVIVAL!”

I was delighted to find all three clear in this quote from the play Coriolanus, spoken by tribune Sicinius Velutus, an enemy of the general Coriolanus…

Coriolanus [III, 3] Sicinius Velutus: What you have seen him do and heard him speak, Beating your officers, cursing yourselves, Opposing laws with strokes and here defying Those whose great power must try him; even this, So criminal and in such capital kind, Deserves the extremest death.

It is clear the politicians know how to influence the people – whether it is to their own good or not you / a production can explore.

How do I know how many times certain words turn up in Shakespeare’s works?

I use opensourceshakespeare.org –  great resource!

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‘Father’ in Macbeth

Over on the #ActingShakespeare blog…

Acting Shakespeare

I created this for @HollowCrownFans‘ great #ShakespeareSunday tweets – check them out and join in! Today’s word is ‘father’ – probably for Fathers Day, so this may not be quite in the spirit of such celebrations, but hey… it is Shakespeare!

Want to know the other times ‘father’ occurs in Macbeth? Search at opensourceshakespeare.org – great resource.

Father - Macbeth - 18th June 2017, Shakespeare Sunday

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A Project for 2017

Great project – want to join in?

The Scenic Route

Hello again, internet. 2016 wasn’t one of my more talkative years online, and much of my blogging was devoted to the mental health side of things. While I plan to continue that, I want to get back into writing a bit more about the arts.

Ermagherd Sherksper Gotta catch ’em all!

One of my projects for 2017 will be a complete chronological re-read of all of Shakespeare’s plays. While I’ve read them all at some point or other, there are several that I haven’t revisited for over ten years and the order of reading was quite haphazard. I’m interested to see whether there are any insights to be gained from a chronological read. So here’s the plan:

  • I’ll be using a rough chronology based on the RSC’s timeline. Want to talk about disputed chronology? Be my guest!
  • Each week I’ll read one play and post whatever thoughts I have about it.
  • By…

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This Too Will Pass

Acting and life cannot be separated – this fine account below can relate in many ways…

“This too will pass” has been a phrase rattling around in my brain for ages – in fact every time I have felt, or do feel, miserable about yet another event in my life or the effec…

Source: This Too Will Pass

Plenty food for thought here and, yes, comfort and inspiration…

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