"A sad tale's best for winter" asserts Mamillius, the doomed prince of Bohemia, and rarely has a Shakespearian character summarized his own story so well. His words are proved true as we watch The Winter's Tale, a bittersweet bit of theatre that is one of the most unique Shakespeare ever devised.
There's no record of the Coriolanus being performed before 1682 and even after that the play remained unpopular. It's only recently that the play finally appears to be achieving some of the recognition it deserves. In this episode, Joel discusses this complex play that should be more popular than it is.
Most likely written with a collaborator, Pericles: Prince of Tyre is a dramatic hodegepodge, a mash-up of myth and fairy tales that has the distinction of being one of the few complete dramatic failures in the canon. In this episode, Joel examines the dramatic question of whether Pericles can - or should - ever be staged.
Growing up in the theatre, you learn pretty quickly that it's bad luck to say the name of The Scottish Play while in a theatre, a superstition even agnostics take seriously. None of this has affected the success of this play, which remains one of Shakespeare's most famed, most popular, and most often performed. It's not hard to guess why. There's witches, ghosts, murder, a prophecy, famous speeches, and lots and lots of blood. In Episode 30, Joel discusses this complex and fascinating play.