)1) What was the first Shakespeare play you read or seen performed?
First live performance would have been a local amateur production of Twelfth Night
. I can't remember whether that was before or after we did Romeo and Juliet
in school, so the first in any format might have been Zeffirelli's R&J that we watched then. Either way, I think R&J was the first one I read.2) What is your favorite Shakespeare play?
At the moment, As You Like It
is my favourite for pure enjoyment, but that's because it's the one I most recently saw a good production of; it'll change again next time I see a good production of one of the others.Hamlet
is the one I find most fascinating, and keep coming back to, partly because I've never seen a version of it I've found entirely satisfactory. Every new production I watch, I see something new that I'd never thought of before, and always, always, I learn a lot from the things that I look at and go, "No, that's obviously wrong." It's the one I most often tell myself I'm going to direct one day, since that's the only way I'll ever see it done Properly. (And presumably, if that day ever comes, somebody will come out of my production muttering about the things I
got Obviously Wrong, and so the cycle will continue.)3) What is your least favorite Shakespeare play?
I'm not fond of his comedies, on the whole; I don't share his opinions on some of the things he finds funny and particularly on some of the things he considers to constitute a happy ending. That said, the amount I actually enjoy any given comedy depends a lot on what the production at hand is doing with it: the first production I saw of As You Like It
made it one of my least favourite Shakespeare plays, and then the second made it one of my most favourite. So I'm not going to name a single least favourite play, because it's not necessarily worse than the others, it's just the one where I haven't yet seen that one really good production.4) Who do you think wrote Shakespeare; are you a Stratfordian or Oxfordian?
Stratfordian, like all right-thinking people, though I admit to a brief flirtation with Oxfordianism when I was a teenager and the idea that Shakespeare might not have been Shakespeare seemed new and interesting.5) Which Shakespeare plays have you read or seen or seen performed?
I have definitely seen As You Like It
, King Lear
, The Merchant of Venice
, A Midsummer Night's Dream
, Richard III
, Romeo and Juliet
, The Taming of the Shrew
, and Twelfth Night
on stage or screen or both.
I can't at the moment recall whether I've actually seen The Tempest
all the way through. (Forbidden Planet
presumably doesn't count.)
I own a copy of the Complete Works, but somewhere along the line I picked up an aversion to reading plays on my own time if I haven't seen them first, so if it's not listed above I haven't read it either.