We have collected a number of video recordings in our archives of plays, movies, television shows, documentaries and cartoons dealing with adaptations of Shakespeare in Canadian contexts. In the Streaming Video section we have selected a sampling of clips that we found interesting and entertaining.
Included in this portion of the site are two hilarious comedy sketches by Wayne and Shuster: The Shakespearean Baseball Game and Rinse the Blood Off My Toga. There is also a clip of a young Alec Guinness giving acting advise at the first Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and a scene from South Park where the kids travel to Canada to see Philip perform Hamlet. We have also put together a page highlighting Canadian connections to the use (and abuse) of Shakespeare in Star Trek
Table of Contents:
- Scenes from The Stratford Adventure (1954),
directed by Morten Parker.
The Stratford Adventure is a documentary describing the history of the first Stratford Festival in 1953, staring Alec Guinness and Irene Worth.
- The Shakespearean Baseball Game (1958),
Wayne and Shuster.
The sketch parodies a number of Shakespeare's plays, most notably Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Richard III, in the form of a baseball game.
- Rinse the Blood Off My
Toga (no date), Wayne and Shuster.
A shortened version of Wayne and Shuster's take on Julius Caesar. Jonny Wayne plays Roman private-eye Flavius Maximus hired to investigate Caesar's murder by Brutus, played by Frank Shuster.
- From Strange Brew (1983),
Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas and Steve de Jarnatt.
Hamlet with toques, stubbies and hosers. The clip we've chosen is a fantastic interpretation of Ophelia's drowning.
- From MacHomer (1995), Rick
Rick Miller performs Macbeth by impersonating (imcartoonating?) the characters from The Simpsons. This clip shows the video introduction to Miller's one-man adaptation.
- South Park's Canadian Hamlet (2001), Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The kids from South Park travel to see Philip perform Hamlet (5.2) at the "Canadian Shakespeare Festival."
- From The Compleat Works of Love (1994),
David Bloom and Linda Quibell.
A man. A woman. A bed. And Shakespeare. The Compleat Works of Loveinvestigates sex and love in the modern world through language torn raw and breathing from Shakespeare.
- From Danespotting (1997),
Matthew MacFadzean and Amy Price-Francis.
Choose Life. Choose the worst toilet in Denmark. Choose Danespotting. This clip shows Hamlet and Ophelia getting their fix.
- From Rodeo and Julie-Ed (1999),
Clips from Peter Skagen's Rodeo and Julie-Ed. We've chosen the introduction of Julie-Edwina, and Rodeo and Julie-Ed's "suicide".
- From richardthesecond (2001),
This clip from Matthew MacFadzean's one-man adaptation gives an example of the productions use of multimedia as his character, Richie Excellent, tries to explain to a reporter that he isn't dead.
Faerie Queen: Inside Ballet British Columbia (2002),
directed by Catheryn Robertson.
Clips of Catheryn Robertson's CBC documentary on the making of John Murrell and John Alleyne's The Faerie Queen.
Trek and Shakespeare
A page devoted to Stratford veterans William Shatner, Christopher Plummer, and the other Canadians who boldly went...well, wherever they went. There is clip of Plummer as the evil Shakespeare-spewing Klingon warrior General Chang (Star Trek VI), and Shatner performing a rap version of Julius Caesar (Free Enterprise).
- Scenes from Shylock (1999),
directed by Pierre Lasry.
This excellent National Film Board of Canada documentary looks at the history of Shakespeare's Shylock from The Merchant of Venice, the Jewish moneylender who seeks a pound of flesh as payment on a loan, within the context of the longer history of hatred against Jews.