Saturday, April 02, 2011

When is the right age for Shakespeare?

simoncallow895 by Julie Oakley
I saw a wonderful production of King Lear last night at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre in Stratford. The production was so exciting that a man in the audience sitting opposite me, fainted when Gloucester's eyes were put out.
But despite loving the theatre, I was nearly lost to Shakespeare in my teens, because I'd been bored to distraction by enforced attendance at Shakespeare productions when I was too young to understand the language and hadn’t even had an introduction to the plot of the play. So my first few years as a student in London I bought tickets for every kind of theatrical production apart from Shakespeare.
Luckily, a friend took me to see Ian McKellan in 'Corialanus' and I was electrified by the production, and completely fell in love with Shakespeare. So if any of you have been following Jamie's Dream School, do you think Simon Callow is right to start with Shakespeare to engage school drop-outs?
simoncallow895, a photo by Julie Oakley on Flickr.


Blogger Penny said...

Julie I was introduced to Shakespeare at about 11 and always loved it, I suppose it depends on the person.
Cant afford to see live theatre any more, I am so envious.

4/02/2011 11:35 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

The 32 year old son of one of my friends last went to the same theatre to see Shakespeare when he was 11 and spent the whole time rustling sweet papers looking for a caramel. He was so bored he hasn't seen Shakespeare since, but asked us to look out for the caramel he dropped on the floor!
I was teasing his mother that she was a hopeless parent because she'd ruined Shakespeare for him for life.

4/02/2011 11:46 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

In high school we studied Shakespeare and we didn't like any of the plays. My hometown had an annual Shakespeare Festival run by the local arty crowd and I was in 'Romeo and Juliet' when I was about 12 - only in the mob. But I never saw the beauty of the language, the intelligence of the character development until many many years later. Now I think he's a brilliant writer.

4/03/2011 10:09 AM  

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