Monkeys are smart. Though they haven't created cars or trains or weapon, they are educated through simplicity. They flourish on what they have, and if something doesn't work, they don't give up, but they evolve to overcome it. Like monkeys, Shakespeare had no thesaurus, no dictionary, no laptop and no editor. But when he came to a spot where he was at loss for words, he made up his own words. Through practice, perseverance and certainly trial and error, he created works that will last forever.

I am a 13 year old kid who is trying to read and attend live performances of all 37 Shakespeare plays (plus 3 possible collaborations) in 2 years. This is a record of my experiences.

I am now a 19 year old college freshmen at Northwestern University, pursuing a degree in Theatre. The spark of love for Shakespeare that began this blog has grown into a roaring fire. That fire burns a little bit brighter each day. This is where it all began.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Taming Of the Shrew, American Shakespeare Center, November 24, 2010.

The Taming Of the Shrew, American Shakespeare Center, November 24, 2010.

The Taming of the Shrew is one of the hardest Shakespeare plays to perform effectively nowadays. This is because it seems inappropriate and sexist to the modern ear. In the final scene of the play, Kate gives a speech about how she owes everything to her husband. This is so politically incorrect in today's world, that to pull it off, there has to be an original theme. Each production has a different interpretation. one option is to have the production be so whacky that the plot doesn’t matter, like the 1980’s American Conservatory Theater version available on DVD. There, the company plays it as a Comedia dell'arte act.

A director could also alter it so that the plot isn’t exactly the same, maybe changing the idea to racism or anti-semitism, where you can sympathize with the actors.  One could also use a star-studded cast of actors everywhere to pull it off, which is the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton solution in the Zeffirelli film, although these are kinds of people that are not easy to find. Which ever way, if it is played straight, it will not work.Yet, this production was not altered at all. In fact, it was played exactly as written.  The play was really on its own. It would have to be directed in one of the most brilliant ways ever to find stardom.
Kate has one of the most dynamic roles in all of Shakespeare. In the beginning, she has to be so flouncy and rude that even the audience has to hate her a little bit. Then she must become so quiet and generous that the audience has to pinch themselves to believe that they’re not dreaming. She was neither of these things. She moved only slightly to either end of the scale, which made her monotonic. This meant that the core of the play was like a calm, gentle sea. The real Kate blows the waves from left to right, up and down. Untamable. Until the Petruccio arrives.
Petruccio’s character is also a judgment call. Did he act so crazily to show Kate how she behaved, or is he just in it for the money and really doesn’t care. But this Petruccio played it differently, which was that he did it for both reasons. He was in it for the money, but he was also not willing to let Kate abuse him. This meant that he laughed at her, but beyond her. She could stay in the corner alone, but she could not defy him. Otherwise he would make life so hard for her that she would have no choice but to obey him.

Lucentio also seemed like a suitor for money. He didn’t show too much interest in Bianca. He spoke of her highly, but did not seem to truly dote on her as he should. This was a new idea to me and I found his stage presence intriguing. Trenio, his man, was as flouncy as Kate wasn’t. Played by a woman, she bounced around, kicking up her legs and spinning. This, though a little over the top, was hilarious. She mocked her master, as he watched, disguised as a tutor, with no way of stopping her.

Bianca and Baptista, thier father, seemed allied against Kate. He clearly saw Bianca as she teased her sister, but always blamed Kate for whatever happened. This made it easier to believe her rages. Grumio provided comical support.

Hortensio was a shining light. His comedy was funny on a simple level, which allowed him to play Hortensio. But he also played Christopher Sly, a character in the introduction, which is usually cut. This is a serious part in the play that also provides some opportunities for comedy, and to play it with both sides of the coin in harmony, you have to be funny on a broader scale. everything cannot be a joke. At the same time it can't be too serious, as it is must mesh easily with the rest of the play.

The introduction is about a bunch of lords who find a beggar on the street, passed out. They take him and dress him in rich clothes and tell him he is a lord who has been in a coma for 17 years. They ask him if he would like to see a play, and, when he accepts, they put on The Taming of the Shrew. It is always wonderful to see the Shakespeare characters performed in a recreation of the original space. With the actors in original dress and candles on throughout the performance, the feel of the 1600’s is created. I love the pregame shows, where they compete with each other to tell the audience the most important fact. If not for the play, don’t miss Taming of the Shrew for the experience of the beautiful old Black Friars Theater. 

(More pictures to follow)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Timon of Athens, 11/21, American Shakespeare Tavern, Atlanta, GA

With this performance of Timon of Athens, the American Shakespeare Tavern has become one of the few companies to complete Shakespeare’s First Folio. In March, with performances of Two Noble Kinsman and Edward IIIthese two are extremely rare, and I hope to make it back for them, they will complete all the surviving works that were traditionally attributed to him, entirely or in part—which was thought to be the entire Shakespeare canon…until recently. In the last few months, Double Falsehood, another play, has been credited to him. If they performed this before June, they would be the first company ever to boast all the plays attributed to him. (The RSC will put on theirs in June.)

          Shakespeare's rarely-performed Timon of Athens is not written in acts. It is in scenes. Shakespeare wrote all his plays in scenes before moving to the Globe. Some that were performed  for the queen may have been transposed. But she never watched Timon. This makes it hard to find a place for an intermission. Jeff Watkins, the director, had the task of finding a good place in the flow to halt. This meant that he could put it in a place which was most helpful to his interpretation. During intermission, Jeff mingled with the crowd. It was an unexpected pleasure to meet the director half way through the play, as they almost never come out before the end.


The intermission spot he chose gave him an opportunity to clearly separate Timon’s (Maurice Ralston) god, man and beast stages. These are the thirds of the play. The idea of Timon is that he cannot relate to people at first because he is so far above them. Then he is ruined and cannot relate to men because he is so far below them. in the middle third, he is being brought down. It is a play that tests the extremes of human existence. 

 In the first third of the play, Timon acts like a god. In this part of his life, he gives away fortunes to his friends without any thought but kindness. Instead, he was troubled by everything when he blew through his wealth.  He seemed to contemplate his decisions as if he wasn’t sure whether they would or would not affect him. In the third of the play where he falls to earth, he was moving because he looked as though he had been pulling his hair out, distraught that none of his "friends" would help him in his financial struggles. And in the final third where he becomes an animal, he was brilliant. Almost insane. With a sick cough that grew worse and worse. It is one of the most challenging parts in all of Shakespeare’s plays.
          Appemantus (Andrew Houchins) is the local beggar, cynic, and only antagonist of Timon. His quiet rants against humanity were very effective because he often sat on a thrust which was also a staircase. Being the lowest of the low, he had very little tolerance for the rich. He alone predicted Timon’s end.  Therefore he was below the nobles, but also closer to the real world (the audience). This really brought out his low place in society. Only when he came upon Timon in the woods, was he above him. Timon lay in a pit, because he was a beast. Appemantus, though poor, was a man.
      Captain Alcibaldes (Travis Smith) shouted his commands with violence. It worked towards his commanding nature, but in the trial scene where one of his men is accused of murder, he didn’t build up to the rage that got him exiled, because he was already at the level he should have been moving towards. The steward, Flavius (Paul Hester), was quietgentle and understanding. These three men were the only ones who didn’t wear masks throughout the entire play, besides Timon. They were his only true friends. This is important because Timon is the bard's only play without any lovers or family members. Only friends. Mr. Watkins’s idea of masks was genious; Only real friends showed their faces.

      The ensemble parts, though uneven, were invaluable to the play. Their reactions fed the leads. Whether they were lords, ladies, guards, merchants, servants or friends, without fail they kept the flow moving in the grey matter, between scenes.  

      Congratulations to the Tavern! It is one of the most difficult but rewarding things in the world of arts, to accomplish Shakespeare’s entire cannon! Many years of work and more work have brought together such a magical thing!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Merchant Of Venice, October 29, on Broadway



                                            Shylock and Antonio

Starring Al Pacino, the play was hyped up a lot. There are commercials and posters all over Broadway, after a successful run in Shakespeare in the Park.

The set was like prison. Metal bars were everywhere. They rotated on grates, swirling around each other to either close someone in, or block someone out. There was a tower as well. An abacus in the back was a clever idea. The abacus rotated and could have been an accountant’s office. The entire place was dark.

                                  Portia and Shylock

This production’s theme was unclear. I couldn’t tell what the play’s meaning was aiming at. The direction also didn’t have a clear idea: The cast seemed to have certain directions and have lines instead of being living them.  They seemed programmed to say certain things at certain times.

                              Portia, Antonio and Shylock

Antonio (Byron Jennings) made the most use out of the space. He sometimes stumbled around, leaning up against the bars, to show that he was trapped.  In the trial scene he was slow moving but steady, and quick with his features. This made his flickering eyes exaggerated when he feared his life. But elsewhere he seemed too old and without a sense of purpose.

                              Jessica and Shylock

 Al, on the other hand, always kept focused on his surroundings. He was always very aware one where he was. And he was hilarious when he was acting friendly. But he didn’t play Shylock in any particular way. A good production depends on the way Shylock is portrayed. There is no right way, but there are many wrong ways. And doing no particular way is worse than that: He wasn’t a joke of a man, but he wasn’t totally a jerk. But he also wasn’t a wronged, deserted man. He cut off a few lines, too.
                                                Shylock and Bassanio

            Bassanio (David Harbour) was a quick and impulsive man. You could see in his face that he barely pondered his decisions. This could’ve been an impressive way to communicate his thoughts, but he was too rude, not charming, making his thoughts clear. His man, Gratanio (Jesse L. Martin) was also rude, but it worked for him. He seemed less interested in Nerissa (Marsha Stephanie Blake), and flashed true colors, showing that Nerissa wasn’t his only goal. The third lover, Lorenzo (Seth Numrich), seemed awkward towards Jessica (Heather Lind). Lancelot (Christopher Fitzgerald) was probably the most striking; he was kind but ambitious at the same time. He was very calm, although when confronting people he became stout, frank and to the point.


Portia (Lily Rabe) was raspy, not confident and altogether too mobile and monotonic. Flouncing around the stage in mock anguish or bliss doesn’t fit the role. Nerissa was quiet. Shecaptured the maid part of the character, but not the nanny.

                                                   Lily Rabe

The moral of the production was perhaps the most intriguing. At the end, all the characters separated one by one; angry or hurt. Nerissa left Gratanio. He slunk away. The same for Portia, stalking off. Antonio then tried to comfort Bassanio, but was rebuked. Antonio stood in disbelief, and then stumbled off across the stage. Lorenzo left his coat on Jessica’s shoulders, after pausing, as if trying to form sentences before giving up. Finally Jessica threw the deed of her father’s into a shallow pool of water, and looked up at a balcony, where Portia had appeared. They shared a gaze. Then the lights went out. All Shylock wanted was his bond, and in losing it, broke all others.

              Outside the theater there was a huge crowd waiting for Al. The police had to cordon off the street. The play was clearly built around him. There was a huge cheer as he got into his black SUV and drove away.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Twelfth Night (in Russian), Chekhov International Theater Company directed by Declan Donnellan, Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., Friday, 10/22

                                Front right: Viola

Curtain. Totally blank stage, slightly green. 20 men in white shirts and black pants, some with instruments. Quiet. “My Father.” Quiet. “My Father.” Quiet. “My. Father.” Flash. 19 surround one. They attach a skirt. He is Viola. 10 men exit. 8 men slide to the side. 1 stays in the center. One slides to the opposite side. He receives a skirt. He is now Olivia. The man in the center speaks. “If music be the food of love, than play on.” He is Orsino. With only skirts separating the sexes and a blank stage, there is only one thing to do. Act. Nothing to lean on. Literally. No props. No costumes. No set. Just actors, lines and a stage. And voices. Shakespeare is considered the greatest writer in the English language. But in Russian? Melodious speech, almost like a song, fills the entire hall.

                        Feste and Aguecheek

            Then there is Viola. If you’re a man, playing a woman, playing a man, can you just play a man? No, because you’re a woman. It doesn’t matter who you are: Your character’s a woman. And you are your character. So you must retain that awkwardness of a woman playing a man and not over sell it. Otherwise the little mistakes wouldn’t show and the Duke’s lines wouldn’t make sense. He obviously realizes this because his awkwardness is just the same as if a woman were playing the role. Olivia is sleek. She often seems flustered. She is also extremely awkward. But her awkwardness is directed towards her love for Cesario (Viola), not her person.

         From Left to Right: Toby, Malvolio, Feste

                Orsino is often extremely boisterous, quite unlike the sweet natured Duke. In the end it is twice as explosive because he seems to blow up. Like a volcano just waiting to erupt. It was interesting visually. They all just watch him storm out. Sir Toby has a fantastic drunkard voice as he raged around in mock-knight form.  He is most intriguing in the scenes with Aguecheek, laughing quietly but not subtle when his back is turned. Maria is the third male playing a woman. He has a beautiful sense of stage presence. He is never in the center, there by dragged the focus around the stage.

           From Left To Right: Maria, Toby, Aguecheek, Feste  

Aguecheek and Malvolio are both extremely funny, but leaves out completely the dark and serious sides of both characters. Malvolio is very smooth. Aguecheek is clueless. Feste receives all of Fabian’s lines, as there is no Fabian. He is slick in his mischievous ways but not outrageously so. He creates trouble with his looks and actions as well as his words. The Sir Topaz scene is extremely impressive because of the staging. Malvolio is over in the left back corner. Maria and Feste in the left front far corner and Toby is right and center. It filles the stage even without a center and a small number of actors.

   From left to right: Malvolio, Aguecheek, Toby, Maria

The production, though minimalist, is great because it makes something out of nothing. All of the flat set and boring costumes come alive. It is a new type of theater. And in Russian, it is even more exciting. It has been touring since 2004. Catch it if you can!

Friday, September 24, 2010


All’s Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare Theater Company, Washington D.C., 9/17/10
     All’s Well That Ends Well doesn’t end well. This is because the ending is impossible to perform at a high standard. The actors aren’t to blame. Nor is it the fault of the director. No, in this case the shortcoming falls on the playwright. This is because the ending becomes an entirely different play. The characters change about 75% opposite of their previous selves. It’s not as easy as just becoming the opposite, but it’s still a drastic change.  It takes serious acting talent to be able to judge where to stop so that there is a glimmer of the true character that doesn’t fully disappear. Also they all change at different times in the same scene, while onstage. This means the actors also have to be able to morph in performance. To really pull this off, it takes raw acting talent. A lot of it. And this is not common. So most people have trouble performing such a challenging thing. Can you blame ‘em?
     The one thing about this play that really didn’t work for me was the set. The stage was bare, with a metal gazebo above it. The back drop was a sky. The idea was that it could take place anytime, anywhere. This worked when they turned it into a train station by projecting a dark wall on the back and lowering a clock. But for the other sets it seemed bland and monotonic. The direction kept Helena motionless, front and center for most of her scenes, which violated the idea of her being a courteous and faithful servant, as she was always the center of attention. The costumes were extremely effective. They were somewhat pre WWI but not completely. Like soldiers had old-fashioned garments as well as 20th century ones. This left it up in the air.
     Helena herself was quiet. She didn’t project or seem to get excited over Bertram. This showed that she had given up on the thought of being with him at all. At the end she clearly showed the talent she possessed. She switched into the role of the ‘mission accomplished’ very well. Bertram was an arrogant jerk even in the end. This worked, because he never made the switch at all. He utilized the fact that it was not as effective to do what Shakespeare wrote because it’s so hard to do it right.
     The Countess Roussillon was one dimensional. She neither emotionally changed nor did she stay the same when the end came. She just seemed to emotionally disappear. She didn’t react or speak with any sense of caring.  Paroles was slick. He slid in an arrogant comment here and there until Lafew called him on it. Then he began to self destruct. In the end he became a monk like figure. He quietly accepted all insults that were thrown at him. Lafew was pretty mean to Paroles in the way he physically treated him. He made gestures that indicated he didn’t think Paroles was even worth a thought. But in the end his grandpa side came out and he softened. The king was a by-polar king. He either spoke in a quiet rage or a slow joyous stream. The production had its flaws, but all in all it was the play that brought it down. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Twelfth Night, Sidney Harman Hall, Washington D.C. 9/5/2010, Shakespeare Theater Company, Shakespeare "Free for All"

Many Shakespearean comedies can be turned into a farce, and the cast can get away with it. A few of his plays are even considered to be better when performed as farces. Two Gentlemen of Verona, Comedy of Errors and Love's Labour's Lost are some of these. As You Like It has sometimes been played as a farce. It isn't one of the standout, 'made to be' farces, but it's well performed as a farce as well as a serious comedy. But its ‘sister’ play, Twelfth Night, is somewhat more serious. There are people who are wronged, disheveled and mentally tortured to a level beyond comic playfulness. Malvolio and Sir Aguecheek are not playfully made fun of, like Audrey or Silvius. They are really taken advantage of to a point where the entire play becomes bittersweet. In fact, Twelfth Night is highly revered, almost because it has many more layers than the simple comedy it first appears to be. The real strength that this play has is that to really understand it, you need to see it many times.

                         Yellow Stocking Clad Malvoilo and Olivia
This play was directed in a less serious manner than many others. Rose petals rained from the ceiling when Orsino, Olivia and Viola fell in love. Soppy music and very odd panels with roses painted on them were also added to the mix. Most lines were delivered with skips, jumps or affectionate gestures. It was as if the whole thing had a bow tied on it. This worked extremely well for the first comic scenes with Toby, Aguecheek, Maria, Fabian and Feste. When Toby and Aguecheek would tell jokes or trip and fall, the comic side of the play was really brought out by the effects and sounds. But in scenes with Viola, Malvolio and Olivia, it took away from the deeper meanings. Even the simple messages the play gives like 'don't judge a book by its cover' and 'analize the situation before you act' were muddled to a point where they were unrecognizable.

Viola and Orsino made a picture-perfect couple, playing the characters to fit like puzzle pieces.  Even when Viola was disguised as Cesario, she and Orsino seemed to bond. He often affectionatly put his hand on her shoulder or hugged her. Viola often screamed at the audience. instead of switching personalities in her solo monolauges where she admitted her love of Orsino, she did the entire part with the same attitude and traits. She seemed to have only one level of emotion and physicality, as opposed to the genius heartbroken turned lover that the bard created. Olivia was very dramatic. She changed her dress for almost every scene, and rolled all over. She shamlessly forgot her maiden restraint. This side of the character fit the production well.

                                            Viola and Feste

What the production really benefitted from was the Aguecheek-Toby relationship. Aguecheek treated Toby like a brother in body language as well as vocally. Toby physically scorned him while vocally praising him. Fabian was physically on Toby’s side. Feste ended up playing them all with his mock-beggary. He had very many levels. He was a genius, knowing he wasn't a funny fool. His smart, double-headed humor was perfectly matched with his brilliant but sorrowful monologues. Maria was homely and endearing until she took part in the destruction of Malvolio. And he who was wronged the worst was also the most comical in the scene with his yellow stockings. Malvolio almost stepped out of character to be funny. Almost.

Feste and Fabian persuade Sir Aguecheek

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Tempest, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario Canada (2 September 2010)

Christopher Plummer can act. Is there any doubt about it? If there is, two words: Last Station. But did you know he’s also one of the stage’s most prominent actors? He has credits from all over the UK, Canada and US. He has played everything from King Lear to Richard III. He has also written a book. At 81, he is still able put on a show. In Ontario he is currently playing Prospero in The Tempest.  He brings many things to his show, but he doesn’t make it a one-man show. He shares the spotlight with fellow actors. Even in scenes with Miranda alone, he sits behind her and doesn’t do anything too showy.

What really makes him amazing is that he can act without any strain. His face isn’t contorted but he still conveys emotions. When he first caught Miranda and Ferdinand together, he looked old and weary without frowning. In his conversations with Ariel he conveyed deep affection without smiling. And with Caliban he showed hatred and disgust without sneering. Ariel was played by a small woman and painted completely blue. She played the mischievous creature to be a bubbling sprite.  Caliban also had an elaborate costume. He had many costumes and a snaky tail. The production had fantastic costumes and effects. Tickets go fast, so don’t miss Christopher Plummer’s The Tempest.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Stratford, Ontario, CANADA. Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 9/3/2010 
                              Lance and Silvia 
Two Gentlemen of Verona is thought to be Shakespeare’s first play. It has clear roots to many of his other great comedies. Even lines are recycled. But it is also thought to be one of his weakest plays. I don’t think this is necessarily true. It really depends on the interpretation. The BBC movie played it more like a serious comedy, similar to Twelfth Night or The Tempest.  But in Stratford, the production was very different. The whole thing seemed like a joke about love. Usually, silly added things like Proteus stealing Valentine’s wallet or Silvia making cheesy lovey-dovey signs the second that Valentine turns away are considered way over the top and unnecessary. But here, the whole thing was over the top, so the cheesy gestures fit in. The different version made it almost a new play. Instead of seeming weak, it looked deliberately so. It was almost like a spoof on love, not a serious story with a moral, that Shakespeare wrote.


The stage was small, square, and with seats 270 degrees around it. This provided an ability for the actors to range around the stage without turning backs to the audience. The players also lived up to the way the director directed the play. Old-fashioned clunky props and slim suits were used. The actors overacted and used silly sound cues, perfect for the spoofy nature. Thurio at one point even used a shiny wig, putting it on onstage before courting Silvia. They all made it like an old-fashioned movie.

                                            Proteus and Lance

The real thing that made the play work was the chemistry between players. Valentine and Proteus had secret handshakes to look like friends. They were all happily together at the start. Then when the conflict came, they all had odd costume changes and Crab actually came onstage and sat there. The whole thing was extremely funny. The audience was laughing till they were in tears. Valentine had a very good stage presence. When he wasn't speaking, he didn't just stand there like a rock, but reacted to what others were saying. Proteus seemed like a crook for most of the play. He slyly took Valentine's wallet. But in the end he showed his true colors. Silvia was like a diva. she often stood on a block to be taller and spoke with arms open to the crowd. Julia seemed shy, as she was often in the corners unless she was alone. Being one of the bards rarest plays, finding a production is like finding a needle in a haystack. So finding a true gem, and if your in the area or really love Shakespeare, don't miss The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's production of Two Gentlemen Of Verona.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Comedy of Errors, Open Air Theatre, London, July 31

This is a madcap production of a madcap play, and deserves a madcap review! 

             Regents Park Theatre, London, bears a striking resemblance to Shakespeare in the Park. It's outdoors, in a kind of stadium. The only thing that is really different is the stage. Instead of a circle, a thick rectangular platform serves as the set. There is a thin catwalk along the back. The atmosphere it perfect for a play because it was so neutral, in the park away from the city, making it possible to change it to anything.

             Comedy of Errors is not a tough play to get your head around. It is simple comedy with little variation in emotional levels. Therefore to make it interesting, you must do something special. This production was sort of like a cartoon. It was done in 40's Casablanca! It was the most unorthodox version of a Shakespeare play I have ever seen. There was a billboard of a sunset and a man watching across the back which read “Ephesus Welcomes You”. There was also a smooth lounge band. The women wore a lot of makeup and lipstick. The men wore square rimmed sunglasses and blazers. The Dromios looked like Turkish slaves. As servants, their parts were the only non-nobility based character roles, so their costumes worked well. There were musical numbers and quirky sound effects. The maid was French and spoke with a heavy and hilarious accent.  The fact that it was done in such an anti-cliche way allowed actors to really go all out. The guidelines of the text were less imminent.

               The twins were very funny. Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse played a mis-match game with their twins from Ephesus. Antipholus of Syracuse was hilarious with his Dromio. The two were extremely comical in their ways. They looked and like they were honestly servant and master. And they had this thing where Dromio S. would poke Antipholus S. and then back and forth until they both fell over laughing. Dromio of Ephesus was very funny with his mistress and avoiding getting beaten. He cleverly avoided her blows by confusing her with gentle sarcasm. Antipholus of Ephesus was very strong, burly, and angry. He seemed to actually hate his wife. Not in a violent way, but in a begrudgingly.
              The sisters were a powerful 1-2 punch. Adrianna was so funny in her rebuke of Antipholus S., mistaking him for her husband, that the audience was literally crying. She was so mock passionate, so loving that she wrapped herself around his leg. He, in the meantime, had no idea what was going on. Dromio looked on in horror, and Luciana laughed  heartily. Luciana was very funny in her semi pursuit of Antipholus S. she liked him, but was ignorant of the fact that he was her sister’s husband. She seemed sweet and innocent seeming. Also the minor characters played a huge part. They were very strong all together. Angelo and his merchants were comical, swearing, and unswearing about the necklace. Egeon was played by the Herald from Branagh's Henry V. He was a picture perfect ex-noble, brought to seemingly the end of his rope.  Emilia was also very endearing in her way of making things right.