Friday, September 19, 2008

The Production Begins: A Midwinter's Tale Presents Hamlet

A Midwinter’s Tale [a.k.a. In the Bleak Midwinter]. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. Perf. Richard Briers, Hetta Charnley, Joan Collins, Nicholas Farrell, Mark Hadfield, Gerard Horan, Celia Imrie, Michael Maloney, Jennifer Saunders, Julia Sawalha, and John Sessions. 1995. Videocassette. Turner, 1999.
We return to Branagh’s A Midwinter’s Tale (for which q.v. and q.v.) to see how they begin the production. The scene below takes place near the end of the film. By this time, the odd group of actors we saw in the audition have struggled with the play and with each other (and some other things have happened, but you don't want any spoilers). The designer has made some cardboard audience members—so that the house won't look bare on opening night. And what an opening it is! Take a look:

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest