Beyond the Bard: Phedre, Racine, and French Drama

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYOB3zgA?p=1 width=”480″ height=”300″]

In which I discuss a bit about Jean Racine’s Phedre, a French play from the Louis XIV era. It’s a grand, tragic epic of mythological proportions, and a great place to start if you’re looking for classical stuff to take you Beyond the Bard!

Here’s the play in English at Project Gutenberg: Phaedra.

And if you’re feeling ambitious, the original French: Phedre.

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Beyond the Bard: The Spanish Tragedy

I go beyond the bard to bring you a Shakespeare-era tragedy, “The Spanish Tragedy” by Thomas Kyd. This play heavily influenced “Titus Andronicus” and “Hamlet”, and is one heavy hitting revenge drama of epic proportions.

Major Character List, in case you want a cheat-sheet:
Hieronimo: Father to Horatio, Lord Marshal of Spain and protagonist
Lorenzo: Brother to Bel-imperia, nephew to the king of Spain and villain
Bel-imperia: Sister to Lorenzo, former lover of the deceased Andrea and now lover of Horatio, niece to the king of Spain, and our heroine

Horatio: Hieronimo’s son, murdered by Lorenzo, lover to Bel-imperia and friend to Andrea
Balthazar: Prince of Portugal, living in Spain since his capture in the war. Loves Bel-imperia, it is unrequited. Also a villain
Andrea: Died in the war, back to watch the mayhem. Friend of Horatio and former lover of Bel-imperia.

Pictures shown are of the Hyperion Shakespeare Company production of “The Spanish Tragedy” from 2010, which I had the pleasure of directing.
**Pictures by Annie McGrath, producer on the show.
For the rest of the show info: http://www.hyperionshakespeare.org/the-spanish-tragedy.html

Text of the play: http://www.elizabethanauthors.org/span1.htm
Youtube with Derek Jacobi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDuvqnsKXl8