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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Shakes on the Radio
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0099  Wednesday, 14 January 2004

From:           Scott Sharplin <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 14:15:24 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 15.0081 Shakes on the Radio
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0081 Shakes on the Radio

I was involved with The Sounds of Shakespeare Radio Series for several
years, as a voice actor and a director. We did a wide range of plays,
mostly histories (Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Henry V) and tragedies (Julius
Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra). We tended to favour plays which were
difficult to produce onstage, because of cast sizes or production costs.

I think the radio is an excellent medium for Shakespeare, because he
relies so heavily upon the language to conjure up an environment.
Sometimes actions can be amplified by sound effects or music, but long
stretches of dialogue were left unadorned, and they worked fine. When
broadcast, the plays were generally broken up into half hour segments,
which is about the maximum length of time you can realistically expect
someone to sit and listen to Shakespeare of their own volition.
Occasionally, plot summaries were employed (ie. "Previously on 'Julius
Caesar'").

Scott Sharplin

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