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March 21st is World Poetry Day. What better way to honour their legacy than to visit the cities that inspired their work?
Whether you want to discover where Shakespeare's poetic genius all began in Stratford-Upon-Avon, imagine yourself as a star-crossed lover at Juliet's balcony in Verona or even enjoy some live Shakespeare a little closer to home; with almost a million properties across the world, we have something to suit all fans of this legendary bard.
I first meet Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics, co-editor of the Machine of Death series, and author of To Be or Not To Be: That is the Adventure, at a recent Toronto reading. North was presenting the sequel to TBoNTB: TitA, a second choose-your-path Shakespeare novel titled Romeo and/or Juliet.
April 23rd is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Few of us would dispute that he was a great playwright, few except perhaps Grade 8 students all over the world being forced to study symbolism in Macbeth or how to write iambic pentameter. But why is it Shakespeare we still celebrate? Why him and not any number of other playwrights? Let us count the ways.
Company is coming! Get rid of the couches. We can't let people know we SIT! ...There cannot be any sign of LIVING in this house... I want this place looking like a new Mediterranean fusion restaurant by noon... This is a dishtowel. I need a hand towel. What are we? Barbarians!?!" Does this ring any bells?
I always thought that if I were faced with impossibly adverse circumstances that I would be a fighter right up until the bloody death. I would go out raging against the enemy until I was victorious or until I couldn't possibly fight another second. Last year I found out that who I thought I would be was exactly the person I was. I fought the enemy and I was victorious.
Anita Rochon's inspired approach to this maligned play is a great success. She exploits the its weaknesses and makes them strengths. She turns her seven actors into a full cast of 18 using a scheme so clever and funny it occasionally upstages Shakespeare himself. And that's a good thing.
Allan Morgan's portrayal is tentative. His Prospero seems shy. Morgan seems to cower beneath the role, never fully inhabiting it. His voice lacks confidence. This is a meek and gentle magician, a follower. It's all wrong. Morgan hasn't the stature for the role. A good character actor, he fails to command the stage as arguably Shakespeare's most powerful character.