Don't be Timid

Ok, so our article title is a bit misleading, but if ever Shakespeare got it wrong, the coming documentary Muse of Fire which is to be aired on BBC 4 in October, is that case because it absolutely needs to be talked about and the word needs to be spread. For those of you not completely in the loop at this point, we shall endeavour to explain, albeit with far less hilarity and respect than Dan Poole and Giles Terera, “Give thy thoughts no tongue” is of course from Hamlet and we’re playing with words.

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We were very privileged to be invited to the special BAFTA screening with the directors and stars, along with all those that helped make the documentary possible over the five years it has taken to make. It tells the personal and clearly passionate stories of Dan and Giles as they travel the world exploring the impact of William Shakespeare and his works.

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The plan was to introduce the audience to the works of Shakespeare and dispel the immediate reaction of just drifting off into REM sleep. The evidence clearly shown when interviewing the general public around the world. Including us here. Previously Shakespeare was just something you HAD to do, you didn’t enjoy it. It was way to many words for words sake and you came out of school glad that you will never have to read any more senseless, wordy prose from Shakespeare.

Well, to our amazement come the end of the screening we were already looking at the dreary pages of Midsummers and Hamlet in a completely new light. We even watched Coriolanus, with the amazing Ralph Fiennes, when we got home. A resounding success on the part of the Directors/Writers/Lightbulbs behind Muse of Fire, Dan and Giles.

Proof that Shakespeare (whilst still wordy), is absolutely relevant and more importantly, not at all boring. The interviews with huge hollywood stars are refreshingly honest and revealing, Tom Hiddleston, Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judy Dench, Steven Berkoff, Sir Ben Kingsley, Sir Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor to name but a few of the many interviewed all give very candid insights into the acting of Shakespeare. If it was possible, we’d love Dame Judy more after seeing this.

Be sure to keep an eye out in your TV guides, you will seriously not want to miss this. If for no other reason than disbelief, seriously, you will not believe you are revisiting Shakespeare with completely fresh eyes and heart.

— Dave

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