WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I meant to write a longer post, but then I had to make a curry.

In the meantime:


I'm skeptical of verse onscreen. This also seems a bit like "Across The Universe" meets Shakespeare. Not to get all "Anonymous" on you guys, but I have my doubts. That being said, it does look like it could potentially be good times.

Off to Henry IV Part 2!



  1. Okay, all I have to say is, "Helen Mirren, you go girl." I'm obsessed with HM and I think that this cast may be able to pull this off. (Although I have to say, Russell Brand? How did you get in there?) My favorite adaptation of Shakepeare to the screen is The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. He's fantastic.

  2. It might seem like "Across the Universe" meets Shakespeare because Julie Taymor directed "Across the Universe"...

  3. My reasons are all based on hearsay, but I do have three reasons for why this Shakespeare film has me excited.

    1) Julie Taymor has done Shakespeare on film before, and though I haven't seen it, I hear from sources I much respect that her Titus is among the best Shakespeare film adaptations out there.

    2) Helen Mirren as Prospero. Not only a superb actress, but this casting choice, to make Prospero female, to me indicates a director who is interested in making the work a conversation about the play, and (I hope) a sign of more interesting and bold choices peppering the full film.

    3) Re: verse in film--some students of Shakespeare's work contend that The Tempest was first written as a masque rather than one of his usual plays.

    The implications of this possibility can't be underrated.

    A large part of why Shakespeare sometimes struggles in film adaptation, I believe, is that his plays were written for a blank stage, and among their functions, his words have to serve up everything for us. And, in many ways, his words are more effective than what actual visuals can give us--in Lear, is the storm the mind conjures out on the heath, as the old king bellows for the winds to blow, more or less effective than showing us the storm?

    My point I'm getting to is, Tempest may or may not be a rarity among Shakespeare's plays, in that it may have been created to wow the audience with spectacle as well as Shakespeare's stellar dramatic verse. And if we're taking a text that didn't originally feel a need to rely solely on itself (and, granted, we will never know if that's the case), perhaps it will weather adaptation to such a visual medium as film more easily than his other works.

    -'Turgin' ain't easay.