News this week from Aberystwyth University in Wales suggests that Shakespeare was a conniving grain hoarder whose cutthroat ways caused prices to soar in a time of famine. Just when you thought there was nothing else to say about the sketchy biography of the man from Stratford. In spite of the curiously interesting twist on [...]
Fox Actor Journal: Bill Barclay (Posted in TCG Circle, the blog of Theater Communications Group) In the world of arts grants, there seem to me to be three different kinds. There are the specific project-oriented ones, the ones that reward great ideas of a finite nature. Yes you can devise this play and bring it [...]
This was one of the most apropos locations for a scene I could wish for. Great apologies for the white noise of the fountain, but it is this very fountain that makes reading the scene so cool here. Not to mention Julius Caesar is the ultimate warrior. It seems fitting to be reading this in [...]
Well! We had to read during the Olympics! We just saw the Brazilian women’s beach volleyball team shellack the Netherlands on a beautiful day here in London, and my dear friend Caleb Mayo and I took the high ground here in the stadium to film this famous and hysterically intricate scene, I;2 of Henry V. [...]
What a silly idea. Ok for ShaxAloud lovers, I promise this video gets better as it gets going. My friend Caleb Mayo and I wanted to tape some Shakespeare at the Olympics (how could we resist) and it just so happened that we were breathing down the neck of Henry V (as we march through [...]
This was a VERY special reading. First of all, it marks the very first time we’ve read Shakespeare in Spanish, ANYWHERE, less on camera and in a place we know Shakespeare himself frequented. This is an old pub near London Bridge where Shakespeare and Marlowe are said to have hung out back in the day, [...]
A Falstaffian Fiesta at the speed of Fun. If ever there were an opportunity to enjoy what fun this richest of plays has to offer, La Compañia Nacional de Teatro from Mexico City is here in London to show us how. I can’t say when last I spent 2 and a half hours with [...]
Transvestites. Rape. Chaos. Bloodlust. Karaoke. All these extremes are on full display in MAKBET – the Polish offering of Teatr Im Kochanowskiego in the Globe-to-Globe Festival. I’ve just come from standing in the rain for this riveting though uneven, over-the-top adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic, performed entirely in Polish, and I must say I’m still chilled [...]
Holy wow. I feel kind of like a bastard after doing this, but I’m sure some good will come of it. So I’ve just been told several times to stop filming in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here in Cleveland and so I’ve gone outside to pick up an earlier scene in the [...]
One phrase I have recently adopted into my theatrical parlance is one’s “letter to the world.” Director Rebecca Holderness shared this with me. It’s the moment in the play when a character experiences a higher vision of self and finds the language to support that experience for the benefit of the audience. It’s a moment [...]
Max Yela shows UWM’s 1632 Second Folio, then I read the Lark scene directly from it. Happy Birthday Mr. Shakespeare!
Holy moly, Shakespeare fans. It all just got real. I had high hopes for this project to read the whole canon aloud, but I never thought I’d get to read directly from a real Folio. Thank you so much to Max Yela, the head of the Special Collection at the Golda Meir Library here at [...]
Yeah, talk about a dank and dew day. Thank you Friar Lawrence. But you know, I’ve never been here before, so I’m having my fun. Hopefully it’s fun for you too. I is TOTALLY windy, so for any of you listening along to each scene, you’re going to have to brave the elements with me. [...]
What a fabulous and entirely appropriate activity to do on Shakespeare’s Birthday. Here I am in Milwaukee taping Max Yela, head of the Special Collections at the Golda Meir Library on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. Max has graciously agreed to stay after hours and show us the remarkable books related to Shakespeare in the [...]
What a privilege to get to read this here! An amazing, amazing time. And besides, we all knew these two guys felt this way about each other, didn’t we? Yes I know they’re from different eras of baseball. But in Cooperstown, it sure looks like they were the two columns holding up the entire world. [...]
Is this fun or what? This is just the footage of the first Shakespeare recitation on video ever taken while gliding down a thermal spring fed Swiss water slide (at :36). Sorry about the audio. Waterproof camera and all. At least let’s hope it’s a first. Not sure what other crazy original idea I’ve got [...]
Readers: Please consider participating in the birthday celebrations happening all over the world by reading, commenting, and wishing the Bard your own personalized birthday wish… Today is the 448th birthday of not only the greatest playwright who ever lived, but also the greatest poet. He is the most accomplished English writer of all time, by [...]
After a crazy afternoon of reading the whole long III;2 around every corner of this impressive complex, we stuck around to tape this scene at night when the lights perform their trippy multi-colored display. The audio is still tough (sorry). It is still snowing, which is pretty cool, and we’ve retained our waterproof camera. There [...]
I think this is the most amazing video of all. What an incredible, strange, embarrassing, exhilerating, comical time this was. So: We’re in Switzerland – in the middle of the Alps in Leukerbad – a ski resort above the town of Leuk. I am here skiing with my Swiss family, who have returned to this [...]
This scene has my heart. And I’m not alone. The emotional center of this play hangs on this scene that no doubt requires the most care and time in rehearsal. It is one of those Shakespeare scenes that should really be four different scenes, but Shakespeare doesn’t want to break the action. Twelfth Night, Midsummer, [...]
What an exquisitely beautiful day here in Brooklyn. I’ve decided to dive into this most epic of love poems – Shakespeare’s first of this kind, and the one that made him first famous in London as a poet. It is completely enchanting. It speaks of so much imagination – or personal experience – or wish [...]
CHECK OUT THE DUDE WITH THE CAT ON HIS HEAD! It’s at the start of the video.
Oh my god check out this amazing woman Yorick and I got to start freestyling on the banks of Zuccotti – and her CD is great!! Good to know OWS is still thriving – albeit on the backs of the very few. The one-of-a-kind and unprompted interactions start at 8 minutes.
What a compelling place for this scene – this deep and multifaceted meditation on death and passing. We are at one of the 9/11 Memorials here in Battery Park, just south of Wall St. We’re filming all of Richard III at sites in the Wall St area – Financial District more broadly. This misshapen Globe [...]
We’re about to go on here – this is the cast of Strindberg’s “Crimes and Crimes” coming to my aid here. Strindberg champion Ulrika Brand has translated, adapted, and directed this production to mark the centennial of Strindberg’s death. There are many events happening in the Boston/Cambridge area concurrently, all a part apparently of a [...]
Definitely the longest scene we filmed so far. Gadzukes is this thing that long? In Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost, Act V; Scene 2 is a whole play unto itself – literally. In addition to the denouement of all the characters in one scene, the court revelry is a play of the 9 Worthies that stands [...]
Oh this one definitely goes among my all time favorites on this project. Amazing little scene that so few people would know, not a one famous line but still a heart wrenching short window into a huge man’s final hours – one of Shakespeare’s favorite situations. We’re sitting at the perfect hour of the day [...]
I caught this online and felt it was worthy of a repost. It’s from a blogspot called Ferule and Fescue, and its author, Flavia, writes to our point here at Shakespeare Aloud extremely effectively. In short, there are MANY different rhythms going on – the iambic pentameter of Shakespeare’s line, our own heartbeats and breaths, [...]
Here we are at this lovely Thai restaurant on Tremont St. I had an audition for Our Town just now for The Huntington Theatre Company – met MacArthur Fellow David Cromer who’s had a great deal of success with this play. Then I took advantage of a strange hour to eat to hopefully convince the [...]
Love’s Labours Lost – Act III, Scene 1 SKIING, on a BUTT LIFT and finally, AS MY OWN SKIING VIDEOGRAPHER
This is maybe the best video so far since the Occupy protest march. In this one scene, albeit it is a long scene, full of clowns and lovers and all ranges of noble to doggerel verse, I try skiing for the first time with Yorick. A dangerous proposition! Remember Yorick is ceramic… Once again my [...]
Gotta love the funny looks! Guy said I could read here ‘so look as shit doesn’t get weird.’ I like that. The background vocals are pretty good! Just going about their daily business while some crazy sits in his car with his skull reading all the parts from the Wars of the Roses! TOP OF [...]
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act I, Scene 1 on Henley St in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Back to the Birthplace!
Well we’re back where we started. Several months ago Yorick and I stood only about 30 meters from this very spot, beginning the strange and eventful history with Act I, Scene 1 of Two Gentlemen of Verona. A dozen plays and thousands of miles later we are once again back here, albeit in a less [...]
This is great – not the most intuitive play to read on the street of Shakespeare’s birth and raising, and yet why not – it’s one of his most inventive works if not his MOST inventive play, and it shows just how far the man’s imagination could travel. You feel me? This is one of [...]
I just had to post this one separately. Is it a first? Love’s Labours while skiing? Precedent! None. I think this guy was made to ski – it works perfectly! Thanks to my aunt Daniela Pellaud-St. Mary for filming so beautifully – also skiing!!!
Here we are in amazing Leukerbad – the alpine town in a German speaking part of Switzerland. Leuk is the nearest town – way down the rugged mountainside. But atop the mountain here – a long gondola higher than the highest roads, we have the most pristine view ever, to complement the most pristine of [...]
This was really fun, and I HIGHLY recommend this activity for those of you who tend to hate needles. Why not be struggling to make sense of some arcane scene of some arcane Shakespeare play, regaling your nurse, a ceramic skull, and a cheap camera, than be digging your nails into your hand dreading the [...]
Well I suppose if I’m going to read Shakespeare at the post office, in the grocery store, while drawing blood for god’s sake, I might as well tape while I’m pumping gas. It’s a short scene – those willing enough to find the resonances can please watch along and indicate them here. Not sure how [...]
There’s really something about this fake reunion scene between the Woodvilles and the rest of the court that jives with this statue of the immigrants just landed from Ellis Island. I don’t know, does ‘fish out of water’ cover it? Maybe not – probably a contributing factor is the Hans-Solo-esque capturing of these desperate souls [...]
And we’re off! The whole play in two days all at various sites in New York’s financial district. One can’t get inside the trading floor of the stock exchange without permission (a post-9/11 rule), but we got the outside, featuring the lovely statue of George Washington (apropos of this first scene as you will see), [...]
WOW. Great taping, Gabriel. Great site on a great day – LOTS of fun shots here, and a busker who plays so suitably for this scene – almost like bagpipes at one point before I cross the street. We got quite a crowd several minutes in – people (tourists) taking photographs and the like. The [...]
Previous occupants – Occupy Wall Street protesters. Current occupants – meandering cops, and Richard III. Let the beef begin.
This was a GREAT segment – outside the church, then inside to see the beautiful ceiling and walls, then into the miniature museum for the killing of Clarence. Gorgeous serenity in this building, especially considering the locale. I wonder how many investors come HERE on their lunch break. Maybe they should.
Oh this is a good one. Who can resist indulging in the graphic and dripping language of the feast scene while carving a bloody roast straight out of the oven? Well it was a pleasure and I highly recommend it. If a little gross. This scene is supposed to make you squirm, and the only [...]
My google alert for Shakespeare Aloud turned up something interesting recently. I don’t know what book this is taken from – it’s pretty generic and dry. But there are some interesting pieces of advice for those people who seek any kind of benefits to speaking the Bard aloud. In particular, achieving any sense of the [...]
Titus Andronicus Act I, Scene 1 outside the Christian Science Center, Boston and on Newbury St WITH MAXIMILIAN
This was fabulous – kicking off the Christmas season with getting kicked out of the Christian Science Center reading the first scene of Titus Andronicus. The view is perfect for the top of this play – the choosing of the Roman emperor, and the violence that ensues. It seems all parts of this scene would [...]
My brother and his wife’s dog, Charley, is the best dog in the world. Or at least one of them. The poor thing has to keep a diaper on because he licks himself too much. He has epilepsy. His eyes are definitely askew. But he’s adorable and he will even suffer bloody Shakespeare on Christmas [...]
You may recall my friend Grey, featured prominently in our readings on my birthday, 11/11/11 at BOTH 11:11:11am and 11:11:11pm (we were reading the best scene of the play to boot – check it out.) He sends me now this article which I find utterly fascinating, particularly because it scratches an itch I have about [...]
Here we are strolling through the beautiful Arnold Arboretum on this early autumn day just knocking on winter’s door. The space is lovely – I don’t do it all that much justice with any camera work to speak of really, but the serenity and tranquility of the place does come off through the scene. My [...]
Meet Zach and Jared Greenberg, and Aidan and Dotan Horowitz as Dromios of Ephesus and Syracuse, and Antipholuses of Syracuse and Ephesus on our first day of rehearsal. This fall I have been blessed with a scenario that a Shakespeare lover could fantasize over, on and off, for one’s entire lifetime. The opportunity to [...]
This was an AMAZING birthday – we were reading the BEST SCENE from Henry VI part 3 at both 11:11:11am and 11:11:11pm on 11/11/11 – my thirty-first. What a great day. Special thanks and a big shout out to Grey Lee my old friend who was with us for BOTH occasions, my lovely Jane for [...]
This is a video I created to feature the highlights of these three scenes late in Taming of the Shrew shot in the midst of the Occupy Boston protest rally. There’s an amazing rendition here of “The quality of mercy is not strained” from Merchant of Venice, and the same guy starts off with a [...]
As a great Shakespeare lover, a believer that he is not only the world’s greatest playwright but the world’s greatest poet, I admit to being irritated. The director Mr. Roland Emmerich has said publicly he doesn’t support “lies being told to children,” i.e., Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare. So in this Discussion post, I would like to [...]
I’ve had a hard time getting to the root of the issue here. Was this Shakespeare or not Shakespeare? Did he collaborate? And how sure are we that he did? I’ll come back to this question as I march through the play, but I want to hear from the blogosphere about the issue. Who has [...]
GREAT way to start a new play – at a party! A Halloween costume party no less. This was also a big family fall birthdays party. Many of us were born in October and November and so we all gathered to celebrate all of that – in costume! Colin, my 10 year old godson insisted [...]
This was just incredible. This woman was playing the harp, busking on Boylston St. She sounded amazing – a really gifted player. The music lesson in Shrew was next, where Lucentio and Bianca communicate their wooing through music, music theory, and very musical metaphors. It was fabulous playing with the live music – you can [...]
So many amazing moments here in the second video – 11pm Friday outside a string of sometimes rowdy bars on Boyslton St here in Boston. And the first part, (115 lines or so) was done at the end of the day at the Apple Squeeze in Lenox, MA. I met Barbara Waldinger here, Artistic Director [...]
Well this marks the first time Yorick and I have ever been cut off or kicked out. I had some bills to mail so I thought I’d film right here in the Post Office. Remember I’m sight reading through this play so I’ve really no idea which part comes next. Act III Scene 3 [...]
We’re wrapping an amazing play in an amazing place. And I must say, I’ve had a pretty eventful time with this one. What has the play left me with? Love is worth the fight. In fact, what’s love without it? It’s a comedic look at eternal tensions with enough dressings to create a rich and [...]
Let’s feature for discussion the famous lines at the end of the play around the extremely awkward attempted rape and how the gents are able to put it behind them. The moment is eggy for everyone. Julia has a tough swoon, Slivia has to bite her tongue, Valentine has to forgive the unforgivable, and Proteus [...]
This was an incredible moment for Shakespeare Aloud – even for a 12 line scene. We all thought there was a shoot-out for a few seconds here at the farmer’s market at Haymarket in Boston. Weirdly, I say to the camera to see if you can pick up on any sounds and smells from [...]
I am so absolutely bowled over by what happened here. So much happened in such a short space. First of all, I get to do the scene, talking to the audience about Crab my dog, with a real horse (and a very pretty one!). Not only this, but you’ll see as the video starts, this [...]
And……we’re off! The very first installment of Shakespeare Aloud. Thanks to Dr. Nicholas Walton, scholar, writer and professor at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust here in Stratford, Yorick and I have been given permission to film my first scene of the first Shakespeare play in the canon, right outside his actual birthplace. Nick and I discussed [...]
A gorgeous day with my family here in Paris. I’m here with my mother (who’s visiting Paris for the first time), my step-father’s brother John St. Mary and his family – his wife Daniela Pellaud-St. Mary and their children Colin (my 10 year old godson) and his little sister Anais. John and Daniela’s family live [...]
Ok so this was the coolest moment in the whole thing so far, by far. Talk about serendipity. I’m traveling with my family and am not especially choosing great places to read – we are seeing the big sights and I am trying to do at least once scene everywhere we go along the way. [...]
Thanks so much to Heather Atkinson for taping this entire day of long scenes! The parallels between the text and this scene really are amazing. I chose the location for the ‘lions in the capitol’ which alone are pretty cool. Great language in this scene!
Kicking off our too-close-for-comfort tour of the first half of Julius Caesar in front of key parts of the United States Capitol. We’re digging for resonances wherever we go here, and Yorick and I are off to a good start!
This was amusing. I guess diesel pumps are a little different from unleaded ones. I just bought a new car for this road trip and as you can see am having some trouble here. If you ever feel like an idiot, my hope is you’ll watch this video and generally feel much better about yourself.
What a perfect place to tape Shakespeare. Yorick and I are here seated on the grass in front of the carriage house built with period tools by the same artists that reconstructed the Globe Theatre in London (where I currently work as a composer as of this writing). But the particular glories are all around [...]
“…imaginitively deployed percussion instruments…”
“And Bill Barclay’s man-who-will-be-king continues right where it left off in “Part 1.” Thanks to Barclay’s multifaceted performance, we believe every step of Prince Hal’s transformation. Barclay looks as comfortable on the throne as he did during his frat-house shenanigans with Falstaff.”
“As Prince Harry, the always excellent Bill Barclay takes to heart Falstaff’s indecent tutelage, but over the course of the plays adds a Machiavellian twist, becoming increasingly cynical and power hungry – and thus more kingly. Barclay easily manages to convey both Harry the reckless and Harry the royal.”
“Barclay is charming, masterful with the poetry and clear in presenting Hal’s arch from a rebellious over-cocky gad-about to a young leader focused on honor and duty.”
“Barclay comes strongly into his own in “Part II,’’ especially during the reconciliation scene with Henry IV and during that chillingly inevitable moment when he repudiates Falstaff once and for all.”
“The most interesting of the lot is a fellow called the Bastard (a rollicking, driving turn by Bill Barclay)”
Complicated, bold, and charismatic, the Bastard is far more compelling than his uncle King John, and Barclay gives him all the energy and wit he needs to steal every scene he’s in.”
“Barclay transforms from rude and frolicsome youth and into lustful thrill-killer in a handful of heartbeats as he takes in Aaron’s exhortations to havoc – a slow, perverse grin creeps across his face, visually tracking his transformation from callow kid to remorseless predator.”
“Barclay displays exquisite comic timing.”
“Bill Barclay as the young composer shows his real life musical talent on the on-stage piano. The audience, meanwhile, was rolling in the aisles.”
- The Merchant of Stratford?! April 2, 2013
- American Theatre magazine discovers Shakespeare Aloud! March 10, 2013
- This is your Brain on Grants February 13, 2013
- Henry IV part 1 Act II, Scene 3 at The English Restaurant November 7, 2012
- Julius Caesar Act III, Scene 3 at the Folger Shakespeare Library November 7, 2012
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NEWS: Bill is currently the Director of Music at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.
He is proceeding with his reading of Shakespeare Aloud at a scenic trot rather than a gallop to accomodate this consuming new post.
Bill will be giving his lecture event MUSE ON FIRE, Shakespeare & The Music of the Spheres for one performance only at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London on February 12th.
to Shakespeare Aloud -
the home of freelance actor, director, composer and sound designer Bill Barclay.
Shakespeare Aloud is Bill's project to read all of the Bard's works, out loud, in order, and in public, throughout 2011-2012 wherever he goes. Click around to find out much more about Bill's music, teaching, performances, special events, scholarship, and past works as well as this project.
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PLAYS READ ALOUD
until late November... -
HAMLET on Tour
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London.
Directed by Bill Buckhurst & Dominic Dromgoole
until June, 2014...
Director of Music,
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
MUSE ON FIRE: Shakespeare & The Music of the Spheres
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Tuesday, February 12 at 7pm
Sackler Studios, Bankside