During my teens I was exposed to quite a few of Shakespeare’s plays. I remember going to the theatre with my mother to see The Tempest, which was preformed with very little in the way of scenery and props.
We went to see several films based on the plays. I saw the version of Richard III with Sir Laurence Olivier. It has the famous line:
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
We definitely went to see a film of Macbeth as well. That was the play I had to study for an important exam – GCE O-level English Literature. When it came to the exam, the question on Macbeth was about the use of rhyme in the play. I knew I could not begin to write on the subject, although with hindsight the witches used it. So I disobeyed the teacher, who only taught us for that final year and answered the questions on the unseen poem. I passed, but not with flying colours.
I have mentioned (in comments on two other blogs) my trip to London to see Zeffirelli’s film version of Romeo and Juliet with very young players in the title roles.
This was the year before the exam. The film had only just been released and was being shown in central London at that time. The school trip included a refreshment break in a trendy café at Harrods. It was the year we had very young Welsh teacher for English. I suppose the actors were our (the pupils’) near contemporaries!
Apart from this I went to a group once a month with my mother and various other adults to read Shakespeare. The group was hosted by the Vicar, who was very interested in the arts and an accomplished musician. We read a whole play in an evening, taking various parts. I can remember reading The Merchant of Venice, but that was not the only play we looked at. I have an idea we also read Love’s Labour Lost, Much Ado about Nothing and a few others.