Shakespearean Anecdotes

I don’t know why this article exists – it has neither header nor footer telling me, and the headline is merely “Shakespeare” – but the author provides a bullet list of nothing but a bunch of anecdotes about actors performing Shakespeare.

Some favorites:

  • While working with Sir Donald Wolfit, Eric Porter ran into a problem at a school matinee performance of “Macbeth.” Wolfit disliked schoolchildren’s giggling during a performance, so he told the schoolchildren before the play started that there was absolutely no reason to laugh during “Macbeth.” However, Porter was playing the porter, who is a humorous character, and he said afterwards, “I had to stand on my head, practically, before I could raise a giggle!”
  • While performing Shakespeare in the open air in Africa during the late 1960s, actress Judi Dench received a scare one night. She looked at the audience, saw the silhouette of a figure with horns, and thought, “The Devil’s here!” The horned figure turned out to be a goat that had wandered into the audience.
  • Fred Astaire was not a reader. He once asked his son-in-law about the story of “Romeo and Juliet.” His son-in-law explained that it was like “West Side Story.”

No idea if they’re all true or what, I’m just fascinated by the random compilation that I stumbled across.

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