Shout Factory Theatre, 2006

Shout Factory Theatre, 2006

This week‘s Outside-in cinema looks at a recent re-working of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as seen during the course of it’s making in a Kentucky Prison. Although Shakespeare behind bars is surely a unique look (from the vantage point of the mainstream public sphere) at an approach to the interpretation and performance of Shakespeare’s work, it is also a part of a long and widely practiced tradition of re-thinking how his work is to be shown and seen. Lisa Hopkins’ book, which can be requested from storage via our catalogue, on three imaginative and radical film adaptations of the play in question is a good first example of this.

Methuen Drama, 2008 Methuen Drama, 2008

For a more completist approach (some might say anal-retentive), the two volume Shakespeares after Shakespeare, findable in the large books section of the Redmond Barry Reading Room, offers an incredibly extensive list of examples in popular culture where Shakespeare either wholly or just partially inspired a particular creation and/or performance.

Greenwood Press, 2007 Greenwood Press, 2007

To sidestep the bard for a bit and look at other examples of theatre’s power to heal and enlighten those held back by bars and chains, the novel G-string jesters, findable on the shelves in the La Trobe Reading Room, which tells the story of an entertainment unit made up of prisoners on the Burma-Thailand Railway in World War II, could be a good course to take.

Currawong, 1966 Currawong, 1966

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