Shakespeare On Trial
with Jeremy Webb & Simon Henderson
Shakespeare’s characters rebel and put their own creator on trial for being boring and irrelevant.
Shakespeare On Trial is available to come to schools. The show has an ELEMENTARY and HIGH SCHOOL version.
“Shakespeare on Trial gets a lot of laughs at its audience’s expense, batting us back and forth between drama (“to be or not to be” is performed in full, beautifully) and farce (Ophelia has a beard). You won’t mind the theatrical whiplash: it’s all in the service of taking the Immortal Bard down a peg (and maybe, possibly, raising him back up).
Simon Henderson and Jeremy Webb are superb as Shakespeare and everyone else, respectively. And although it would have been easy to turn this show into an exercise in finger-shaking, Webb’s script never patronizes its audience—well, never unintentionally.
Shakespeare on Trial is irreverent, exuberant, childish and scholarly. You’re likely to leave knowing you saw something astounding but not knowing what it was, exactly” The Coast, September 2012
“Simon Henderson gets more charming and more silly every time I see him, the improvised bits between him and Jeremy Webb are funnier and more and more reminiscent of something like the shtick you would expect from Lane and Broderick. This performance also included a scene stealing performance by a young actor named Rowan. It is not (quite) all hilarity, however, in this production Webb’s performance of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy leapt out at me as being one of the most moving, interesting and intelligent I have ever seen. Someone needs to cast Webb in this part STAT.” The Way I See It Theatre Blog
“A sure bet for all ages. Apart from being naturally comic, they are genuinely convincing— Webb as the great Shakespearean characters speaking those beautiful, famous lines and Henderson as the impassioned Shakespeare nobly defending iambic pentameter and the validity of his work.” Chronicle Herald
“Brilliantly entertaining! Webb and Henderson are delightful to watch and play off each other with the same energy as Tim Conway and Harvey Korman.” The Coast, 2010
Shakespeare On Trial comes to you
Take advantage of having Shakespearean actors in your school, reinforcing what teachers have been telling students for years: Shakespeare wrote plays. These plays were meant to be performed and watched and enjoyed.
Shakespeare On Trial is your school gymnasium, cafeteria, or auditorium will help create an appreciation for the arts in your students.
Drop us a line to discuss availability.
Shakespeare On Trial: ELEMENTARY
A fantastic introduction for younger students to the arts, to theatre and to that deceased writer called ‘Bill’.
This version lasts 45 minutes and contains ‘lighter’ Shakespearean material, but still all the laughs, education and action!
Shakespeare On Trial is available to schools & venues during 2013-14
To book for your school in Nova Scotia, contact: Joanne Miller, PERFORM Program, Theatre Nova Scotia www.performns.ca 902 425 3876.
For bookings outside Nova Scotia, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer Bill Shakespeare encounters four of his own most famous characters: MacBeth, Iago, Hamlet and Juliet up-close, personal and ticked-off. Shakespeare On Trial explores the Bard’s accessibility and relevance in the world today.
Shakespeare has to defend his own writing as the four fictional characters challenge the author to write in a modern way, arguing that no-one understands them anymore.
Shakespeare On Trial is a 75 minute, fast-paced introduction to the Bard’s words, designed to help those words find an ear today.
Shakespeare On Trial features a ‘greatest hits’ of famous Shakespeare quotes, speeches and the occasional soliloquy (featuring scenes from Romeo & Juliet, Othello, MacBeth and Hamlet.) Shakespeare On Trial becomes interactive for the last 15 minutes as Shakespeare calls upon students to help prove his point: “The play’s the thing…”
What Teachers say about our show“It was amazing how Jeremy and gang brought Shakespeare back from the dead in more ways than one. Extremely entertaining, Austin Power humour meets Monty Python, too funny, the students were laughing from start to finish. All schools should bring Shakespeare On Trial to their schools.” Travis Cobean, Park West School Halifax
“The audience was engaged from beginning to end. Great Job! We would recommend it for all grade 7-12 schools.” Gerard Ryan, Principal, East Antigonish Education Centre
‘We- staff and students- enjoyed Shakespeare On Trial very much. The students were very attentive and could relate it to their study of Shakespeare. They loved when they recognized elements that were taken from the plays they had studied in English. Anything that can be done to promote a positive image of Shakespeare to young people should be encouraged, so I fully support this eandeavour. Well worth the money! We look forward to the next production,” Cathy Finnemore, English Department Head, CHDHS
“Shakespeare on Trial was a hugh success at Richmond Academy. The students were engaged throughout the performance and were sad to see it end. They really enjoyed the humor and the audience involvement. I would definitely recommend Shakespeare On Trial to other schools.” Carleen Matheson, English/Drama teacher, Richmond Academy
More importantly, perhaps: student reaction!“Well, I never knew being mauled could be so funny you guys are literally the funniest people I’ve ever seen. That was defiantly my kind of comedy act; it also changed my views on Shakespeare. When ever I hear it I’ll think of you guys.” Shane, student
“I was in the front row at CEC, I laughed so hard; I cried. I think it you really got the people that don’t even enjoy Shakespeare or plays interested and laughing. It was fantastic. I’m glad I got experience this my senior year. I would love to see it again ! Thanks for coming!” Alanna, student
“You came to Duncan MacMillan High School and you were really great and extremely funny!! I loved every minute of it!! You guys were one of the best performances we’ve had at our school yet!! Keep up the good work and I hope you accomplish what you’ve set out to do by educating people about Shakespeare and his work!!” Sara, student