Anecdotal Shakespeare

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 57

The curses associated with the Scottish play. Using a real skull for the Yorick scene in Hamlet. Over the centuries, these and other fascinating theatrical anecdotes have attached themselves to the plays of William Shakespeare.
Many of these stories have been told and re-told, over and over, century after century – with each new generation inserting the names of new actors into the story and telling the story as if it just occurred. So “One night David Garrick was backstage” becomes, “So one night Edmund Kean was backstage” which then becomes, “So one night Richard Burton was backstage.” And so on.  
Our guest, Paul Menzer, is a professor and the director of the Shakespeare and Performance graduate program at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. His book Anecdotal Shakespeare: A New Performance History was published by Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare in 2015  He was interviewed by Neva Grant.  

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published September 20, 2016. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. “Truths Would Be Tales, Where Now Half Tales Be Truths” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer.  It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. Esther French is the web producer. We had technical help from the News Operations Staff at NPR in Washington, DC.