So, I am very glad I am assuming the 30 days of Shakespeare are not consecutive because I just missed roughly...eleven. My apologies. I was shuttling my way round the Midwest to visit various family members and only got back home last night.
Without further ado, here we go.
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Ye gods. SO MANY. It is not even funny how many roles I would absolutely love to play and will probably never get the chance. Unless I actually manage to get a full-time job and therefore have the schedule and funds to start my own playreading group in whatever department is crazy enough to take me. ;)
I will preface by saying that, after a number of years in amateur productions, I've learned that although there are a vast number of roles I would love to play, there are far fewer at which I would be at all good. So this list is going to stick to characters that fit both criteria, from what I can see.
As such, Juliet is Right Out because I have never looked young enough to play her, least of all now when I am well past the right age.
Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra - The only character in Shakespeare who looks remotely like me! I'm not saying I actually look like Cleopatra -- just that I look more like her than I do any other Shakespearean character. More importantly, however, she is such an amazing character and the absolute emotional centre of that play; she's got so many layers and there are so many directions to take her, and that final scene is just magnificent. I don't know if I'd be any good, but I would relish the chance to give it a try.
Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing - She's just so much FUN.
Margaret of Anjou in the First Tetralogy - I don't need to explain this, do I? ;)
Elizabeth Grey in 3 Henry VI and Richard III - See above.
Desdemona in Othello - This would never happen except in a playreading, but I would love the opportunity just so I could really delve into her character and figure out what makes her tick and how much she realises before the end of the play. This is something I know actresses engage with a great deal in playing Gertrude or Cordelia, for instance, but in my limited viewings of film versions of Othello, never with Desdemona. I really, really, REALLY wish I'd been able to see the Donmar production with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello because the audio version is marvellous and stupid Donmar for having a tiny performance space.
If gender were irrelevant (as it often is in playreadings), I'd probably engage in all sorts of group-related corruption to read Richard III or Edmund in King Lear or Prince Hal or Richard II. I did actually manage the latter, albeit in Thomas of Woodstock rather than in Shakespeare. In fact, here is Act II, Scene I, where Richard totally forgets how old he is and an entire room of early modernists bursts into slightly hysterical laughter at the mention of chronicles.
Anyway, we return you to your regularly scheduled postings. :)
Day #1: Your favourite play - Othello and Richard III
Day #2: Your favourite character - Lady Elizabeth Grey in 3 Henry VI and Richard III
Day #3: Your favourite hero - Othello
Day #4: Your favourite heroine - Juliet from Romeo and Juliet and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing
Day #5: Your favorite villain - Richard of Gloucester
Day #6: Your favourite
Day #7: Your favourite clown - Feste from Twelfth Night
Day #8: Your favourite comedy - Much Ado About Nothing
Day #9: Your favourite tragedy - King Lear
Day #10: Your favourite history - The Henry VI trilogy
Day #11: Your least favourite play - The Taming of the Shrew
Day #12: Your favourite scene - selections from Richard III, Othello, Much Ado, and 3 Henry VI
Day #13: Your favourite romantic scene - As You Like It, Act IV, Scene I
Day #14: Your favourite fight scene - 1 Henry IV and 3 Henry VI
Day #15: The first play you read - Romeo and Juliet
Day #16: Your first play you saw - Macbeth
Day #17: Your favourite speech - Romeo and Juliet and 3 Henry VI
Day #18: Your favourite dialogue - Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet
Day #19: Your favourite movie version of a play - Richard III (1995)
Day #20: Your favourite movie adaptation of a play - Ten Things I Hate About You
Day #21: An overrated play - The Tempest
Day #22: An underrated play - Coriolanus
Day #23: A role you've never played but would love to play
Day #24: An actor or actress you would love to see in a particular role
Day #25: Sooner or later, everyone has to choose: Hal or Falstaff?
Day #26: Your favourite couple
Day #27: Your favourite couplet
Day #28: Your favourite joke
Day #29: Your favourite sonnet
Day #30: Your favourite single line
I read Desdemona when our Shakespeare reading group did Othello. It's a really disturbing and scary part to read, and probably even more so to play (especially since Othello was read by a very good friend of mine who is also a sort-of-ex). I felt really strange and off-balance for hours afterward.
To my mind, Desdemona certainly sees her death coming - that whole scene where she is folding things away and singing and talking to Emilia was heavy with the knowledge that Othello had turned on her and it was only a matter of time (though she still can't quite believe what she knows, I think). But it does take her a long time to get to that point - she is so very innocent that until Othello becomes quite direct in his accusations, it simply never occurs to her that it could be anything other than a joke - adultery is utterly unthinkable to her.
Edited at 2010-08-24 23:04 (UTC)
I would love to play Desdemona, though I'm sure I will never get to -- she is probably the best example in Shakespeare of a female adult character who is both genuinely good but also very human in a warm sort of way (like, Cordelia is also both good and human but she is much pricklier, because she's Lear's daughter and all three of his daughters take after him).
I did get to do the "Willow" scene in two different Shakespeare classes, though, because Dr. M asked me to do it on the grounds that I was willing to sing a capella in class. It's just absolutely amazing even in that kind of context.
But it does take her a long time to get to that point - she is so very innocent that until Othello becomes quite direct in his accusations, it simply never occurs to her that it could be anything other than a joke - adultery is utterly unthinkable to her.
That is exactly how I read her too -- I don't understand the people who take that scene where she's talking to Iago and the clown as an admission of guilt. To me, there's absolutely nothing in the text to support that.
I would sell the souls of several questionable characters in order to see you play Cleopatra. What? My own soul? Don't be absurd. ;)
I would love to see you do Desdemona in a version of Othello similar to the one where Patrick Stewart played the title character ... but mainly if I got to be your Iago. insert evil grin here
I really, really, REALLY wish I'd been able to see the Donmar production with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello because the audio version is marvellous and stupid Donmar for having a tiny performance space.
IT WAS AWESOME AND I SAW IT TWICE NEENER NEENER NEENER
um, it is also available as a CD recording?
NEEEEEEEEENER NEENER NEENER