Shakespeare a la Carte
4 Extra Debut. The Bard's best bits performed by some of the country's top actors. Except they're stuck in traffic. From April 2009.
One of the highlights of the 2008 Brighton Festival was turned into an Afternoon Play for BBC Radio 4. Shakespeare A La Carte took the public by storm when it offered audiences the chance to order up their favourite bits of Shakespeare, together with coffee and croissant.
Pippa Smith, Head of Education at the Brighton Festival had the idea after a disappointing encounter at the Edinburgh Festival. "I saw a flyer advertising Shakespeare for breakfast. But breakfast turned out to be stewed tea in polystyrene cups and the Shakespeare was a lame production of 'Love Labour's Lost.' I came away with an entire show in my head. I knew I could create something much classier than this - the bards best bits performed by leading talent from the RSC and National."
Smith approached Richard Hahlo, Jonathan Cullen and Fiona Dunn, who form the theatre company Hydrocracker. They devised a show where the actors, masquerading as waiters in a Pizza Restaurant, take over the performance when they hear that the real actors have been delayed driving down from Stratford. For the radio adaptation two extra characters played by Sian Webber and Richard Attlee, have been created.
Says Richard Hahlo: "They frame the action for those listening at home. It's good that we will record it live, because what you get are big chunks of Shakespeare interwoven into the to-ing and fro-ing of these waiters trying to get these speeches organised."
Peter Quince ..... Richard Hahlo
Nick Bottom ..... Jonathan Cullen
Frances Flute ...... Fiona Dunn
Hermione ..... San Webber
Crispin ......Richard Attlee
Producer: Karen Rose
A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.