We’ve often discussed the fact that Romeo and Juliet, right up until Mercutio’s death, is a romantic comedy that suddenly goes very very badly. Even the darkest plays have at least a couple of jokes thrown in (or do they?) So let’s talk about that. Among all the plays that are not supposed to be comedy, which one do you think is the funniest?
There’s multiple ways to look at this:
* Laughs where Shakespeare put them, and expected them.
* Laughs where a modern director found an opportunity to get a laugh.
* Laughs where the audience laughed, and probably wasn’t supposed to.
So let me rephrase it this way – which play do you think provides enough potential for the audience to walk away thinking, “Wow, I never expected to laugh that hard!”
I’ve seen a fair share of laughs in Othello, and Macbeth. I didn’t laugh at Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus, but when I saw a production in Boston Common the lead character was so over the top snarky in his attitude toward everybody that I couldn’t help myself (although I also wanted to punch him). I’ll be very surprised if King Lear makes this list. Somebody remind me if there’s any funny bits in that one at all?