SHAKESPEARE ALOUD

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 seasonal time for tourists, to see how our friend Shakespeare has grown up since then. He has matured – wildly it would seem – to a ripe enough point to pen A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a play that, it must be said, would make Shakespeare famous the world over if it were the ONLY PLAY HE EVER WROTE.

All this before Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Lear, Macbeth, Merchant – or even Twelfth Night, As You Like It, or Much Ado. The man’s output is staggering – literally inconceivable. Which is why we are doing what we are doing.

Yorick (who always allows me to use the royal WE) has made it on this journey back here – this being his second trip to the UK, and though he remains as seemingly unimpressed as ever with his Bard’s eloquence, one can see the effects the language is having on his frame. He is wizening to it, yielding to it like an ancient Sequoia whose roots are wrapped with loving yet parasitic vines that will inevitably merge their organic matter with their host. He is ingesting in silence.

As for you, well if you’ve heard me discourse any other of the Bard’s plays yet, I can promise that following the journey of this particular title will be WORTH IT. Go through scene by scene – you’ll never guess where this play will take us next, much like young master Shakespeare, as he begins to journey farther and farther from home….

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