This is an article from The Guardian that was published a few weeks ago about two seperate productions done by two well-known actors that try to explore the personality of William Shakespeare. Both productions take on different takes of what kind of man he was, all under the presumption that the author of the plays was the man from Stratford.Bard labour: Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow tackle Shakespeare the man
What kind of a man was Shakespeare? A cold husband and a cruel father – or quite the party man? Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow recreate his life in two very different productions
'I've always thought," says Simon Callow ruminatively, "that Shakespeare was the kind of guy who goes to a party, nurses one glass, says nothing, and goes home with the prettiest girl in the room."
I imagine 1,000 biographers keeling over in horror. But Callow isn't joking. His new one-man show, which debuted last year in Edinburgh and is about to open at Trafalgar Studios in London, brings audiences face to face with the middle-class Midlands boy who grew up to be the world's most famous writer. The title is serious enough: it's called Being Shakespeare.
There is, however, a rival Bard in town. At the Young Vic, Patrick Stewart is reviving his performance as the playwright in Edward Bond's 1973 play Bingo – a revival that one critic praised for its "truly Shakespearian greatness". The Bardic battle is on: if they feel so inclined, Londoners will be able to do a direct compare-and-contrast.
Fictional representations of Shakespeare aren't unfamiliar: Anthony Burgess's 1964 novel Nothing Like the Sun spun a fantastical retelling of Shakespeare's love life, while the last story Rudyard Kipling ever wrote, Proofs of Holy Writ, worked up the eccentric theory that Shakespeare and Ben Jonson did an emergency rewrite of the King James Bible. Then, of course, there was 1998's Shakespeare in Love, which made an entire generation of moviegoers want to investigate Joseph Fiennes's codpiece.( Read the rest...Collapse )What's remarkable to me is that everyone talks about what a mystery this man is, how we know so little about him, and then they turn around and say he undoubtedly wrote the plays. How can people be so sure that this mystery man actually wrote anything other than a will and demands for money?Source