Big news and great exposure for Shakespeare Aloud and hopefully sympathetic renegades everywhere….
By Jeremy D. Goodwin
“Have Verse, Will Travel”
Published in American Theatre, March 2013
The location scouting is helped by the fact Barclay’s work requires a lot of travel. Installed last year as director of music at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, he accompanied an international touring production of Hamlet for which he’d written music. In late 2012, he returned for two months to Boston to appear in Two Gentlemen of Verona at Actors’ Shakespeare Project, where he’d directed a surprise-hit production of Timon of Athens in 2010. He’s been in the acting company of theMercury Theatre Company in Colchester, England, and spent 10 seasons wearing various hats (including that of resident music director) at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., where he had his actor training and was originally bit by the Bard bug.
Though there’s an irreverent spirit to the project, he thinks it may have helped his case when he applied for the new job in London. “The staff knew I was a complete nerd,” he says. “They were like: ‘Well, we know Bill likes Shakespeare.’” Its spirit is playful, but Shakespeare Aloud began as an academic inquiry—research for a book on the evolution of Shakespeare’s use of song and the musicality of his verse—then emerged as a massive project of its own.“It’s been a revelation just getting through it for the fun of it and the play of it—muscling through the plays, just trying to survive and make it clear,” he explains. “There’s a logic to that iambic pentameter that starts to grow like a second skin.” Follow Shakespeare Aloud at www. shakespearealoud.com. —Jeremy D. Goodwin