[Press & Publications] IT'S BEEN A BARD DAY'S NIGHT... [Students; Theatre; Literature]

May 2000

No 91

As the eyes become a little less bright and the tales a little less bushy students from Leicester University Theatre are valiantly pressing on with their record-breaking, non-stop Shakespeare Marathon.

The thespians’ efforts so far have been logged on a hastily-erected cricket scoreboard beside the makeshift stage. With the sun blazing down at 3pm on Tuesday May 2, it read: 29 plays to go, day 2, hour 8!

Until now tempers amongst the troupe have remained thoroughly intact. But that might all change on Thursday when boyfriend and girlfriend Steven Rodgers and Sarah Frain meet as Iago and Emilio in Othello...

All those Bard buffs out there will know well that Ioga slays Emilio in an act of sordid violence. So whilst there has already been the tragically amorous encounters of Romeo and Juliet there is underhand skulduggery and intrigue a-plenty yet to come.

As Lord Attenborough suggested, the students’ titanic efforts were always going to be ‘fantastic and extravagant folly’ but hitherto they are bearing up admirably - resplendent as they are in a mixture of period costume and retro chic.

Finally, though they have not yet reached the target figure, which will cover their trip to Shakespeare Youth 2000 in Vilnius in the summer, they remain positive that the necessary amount will be found.

Shakespeare factfile:

  • There are 111,424 lines in Shakespeare’s plays.
  • The longest of Shakespeare’s plays is Hamlet, with 3931 lines. The shortest is The Comedy of Errors, with 1778.
  • The play with the largest number of speaking parts is Henry VI part 2, which has 65 characters.

    Odd props:

  • Shakespeare’s plays require some out-of-the-ordinary props. Apart from an Ass's head (Midsummer Night’s Dream), and a bear (famous stage direction from The Winter’s Tale: “Exit, pursued by bear”) the plays require:
  • Numerous severed heads
  • A body without a head (Cymbeline)
  • A dog (Two Gentlemen of Verona)
  • A basket of asps (Anthony and Cleopatra)

    NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information on the Shakespeare marathon contact Dr Roger Scoppie on 0116 270 3369; mobile 0779 016 4773.

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    Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
    Last updated: 03 May 2000 16:38
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