But What Is 'A Shakeathon'?
It has been described as a fantasy lodged
within the realm of possibility;
As You Like It; What You Will
|Fundamentally, I suppose, A
Shakeathon, is simply LSW's celebration of the Bard's Birthday, which we choose
to celebrate on the closest Sunday to Shakespeare's noted birth date, 23rd April.
However, we must, of course, note that this date is not confirmed. We only know, for
certain, that William Shakespeare was christened on 26th April. Still, it is a
wonderful excuse to have a heady celebration of the language.
For a further introduction of the ideas celebrated behind the Shakeathon,
please refer to the picture by Robert Westfall to the right of this table. Westall
depicts an uncharacteristically young and rakish Shakespeare flirting with Comedy, a
light, wanton figure dressed in a revealingly diaphanous gown.
|Shakespeare holds the hand of Comedy, but
he extends his other hand and bids Tragedy to stay. This is particularly apt for the idea
behind the Shakeathon, as it is truly all encompassing.
The handsomely roguish youth of Westfall's Shakespeare suggests a point in his career when he courted both muses, never totally abandoning Comedy, but soon to embrace Tragedy. Accordingly, the idea behind the LSW Shakeathon is that it too should be all embracing; a structure within which to be free.
The History Behind the Shakeathon
|The Shakeathon is the brainchild of one
man; a wonderful actor, Robert Langdon-Lloyd. This is his vision; one he originally
christened 'Shakespeare Dreaming'. Robert was hailed for his work during what many
consider one of the heydays of the RSC, during the sixties and early seventies.
He has since gone on to do much work with Peter Brook, including the celebrated
produciton of Mahabarata which toured throughout the world and which was filmed and is
currently available on video. Even more recently, Robert has done sterling work with
the Oxford Touring theatre, playing in Three Sisters, both throughout the U.K. and in the
West End at the Whitehall Theatre and in Troilus and Cressida which was most recently seen
at the celebrated Old Vic.
Robert's simple, yet
brilliant concept behind Shakespeare Dreaming, was that it should be as if Shakespeare had
fallen asleep and this, the active interlude, would resemble the re-enactment of his
Bardish dream. LSW is proud to be able to honour this, Mr. Langdon-Lloyd's burnished
But What Is 'A Shakeathon'?
Alright. Should it be practicalities you are desirous of, the best route to discover a definition to that which is largely undefinable (and which for the sake of its own health should remain largely indefinite) can be wrought through the following three keys; although be warned; without treading the shallow of the first, the depth of the latter two items will remain largely dimmed; and the last wholly unilluminated:-
|The Formal LSW Shakeathon Invocation|
|An LSW Shakeathon Rejoiner Stash|
|An LSW Shakeathon Cue Script|
|If Seeing is Really Believing: A Photographic Record from LSW's Shakeathon 2000|
|Reporting on a trove of Happiness:
Alison Rose's Shakeathon 2000 Diary