Since I was in highschool I've read Hamlet numerous times, seen several screen versions, have gone so far as to memorize bits of it (To be or not to be...) but not until tonight did I actually get to see the play performed live. Outside. Under a cloudy, smoke-filled sky, cold enough everyone was shivering and not a soul stirred to leave. Until now I don't think I had truly appreciated what a powerful work it is.
My teenage daughter went with me and was just as caught up in it as I was.
You know, I think this Shakespeare guy might catch on.
Nothing matches Shakespeare live. One of the high points of my life was seeing Othello at the now-defunct Stratford festival in Connecticut. With James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer. That was 30 years ago and I still remember it.
It takes me the first scene to get my ear back, but after that, it's great.
Even with a so-so production like the Coriolanus that the Stratford Festival put on a few years ago. (No, not the Coriolanus; that one was good... Oh, damn, I saw it at the racquet court they transform every year.. Um...)