On this, the birth and death day of one of England’s greatest playwrights, I feel I should confess something.

I know various quotations from his plays (admittedly probably only the famous ones), but I’ve only actually read Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.

I know, I know. I claim to be well-read, and yet the poems and plays of Shakespeare languish, gathering dust, on the shelf.

I’ve seen quite a few, though. When I was younger we went to Exeter’s Rougemont Gardens every year to see the Northcott Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park. Well, for a run of some years until they chose to do one my mother wasn’t so keen on. One of the Richards, if memory serves. And then we stopped going.

We were, in any case, more firmly attached to a tradition of Gilbert & Sullivan every summer. Until the musical group decided to branch out into other musicals. Then the choices started to go downhill…

But I digress. I’m not sure why I’ve not read much Shakespeare, except that I’ve never really been much a one for reading poetry or plays. Not that I dislike them, just that I prefer prose.

Possibly it’s something to do with preferring to listen to poetry and plays. Maybe my next reading-target should be to read all of the the plays. Actually, that’s quite a good idea. I can get them for free on my Kindle. Maybe if I’m being adventurous I can add in the poems…

Watch this space next Wednesday!

On a side note, apparently Shakespeare introduced my name to the English-speaking world in As You Like It. I’d reference that, but I came upon it some years ago and I have no idea where I found it.


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