48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2003
“Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare” by Marcia Williams is her 2000 follow up to her 1998 volume, “Tales from Shakespeare.” Both books look at seven plays by the bard. The first volume did “Hamlet,” “MacBeth,” “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Romeo & Juliet,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “Julius Caesar,” and “The Tempest.” This book covers “Much Ado About Nothing,” “As You Like It,” “Richard III,” “Antony & Cleopatra,” “Twelfth Night,” “King Lear,” and “The Merchant of Venice.”
The conceit of these volumes is that Shakespeare’s plays are being performed at the Globe, a circular wooden theater on the banks of the Thames River in England. Theatergoers would pay penny and stand in the open courtyard around the stage and watch the play. Such people were known as the groundlings and they got rather rowdy, actually throwing things at the actors. If you paid another penny you could sit in one of the roofed galleries, protected from both the elements and the groundlings.
Williams presents each play in dramatic comic strip form providing three parts to each performance. First, there are the words that Shakespeare actually wrote being spoken by the characters. Second, the plot of the play is told underneath the pictures. Third, around the stand the spectators watch and other a wide variety of comments. Keep your eyes out for Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, the Master of Revels, and a guy who only likes the gloomy pages.
Both of these volumes provide a spirited presentation of these Shakespeare plays, giving young readers not only a sense of the story but the way they were originally performed. Of course, the fun comments strike the mark better on the comedies than the dramas (the latter tend to be colored more gloomily), but there is no mistaking the enthusiasm Williams brings to the presentation of these plays. This is an excellent way of introducing young students to Shakespeare’s works and hopefully it will whet their appetite for reading more detailed juvenile versions and eventually the original plays themselves.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2008
The format of this is a little different from most of of Marcia Wiliams' treatment of famous tales. Though done with all the author's accustomed energy and verve, the usual format of narrative strip cartoons supplemented by the characters' speech bubbles has a third dimension provided by comments from the "audience" at the Globe Theatre, London.
This keeps the young reader on his/her toes and provides a super intro to Shakespeare. The illustrations are interesting in that the author has chosen a distinctive colour palette for each play - thus As You Like It is done predominantly in oranges and blues, Antony and Cleo in orange and turquoise, Twelfth Night in pink, green and plum, The Merchant of Venice in cherry and grey etc.
No child could fail to be stimulated by these tales, and could not want to pursue them at at deeper level when older.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2010
Marcia Williams' adaptions of classic literature are a must-have in any child's library, my 6 year old daughter found this one very easy to understand and developed a natural curiosity for Shakespeare and his work, being particularly engaged by Romeo and Juliet, which will hopefully ensure she is not put off by such classics as she continues her education - what more can I ask
on 12 October 2011
This was a very good condition second hand book at a knock down price. I needed it for my Shakespeare club at school and was very pleased with it as it gives a humorous, comic strip version of four of Shakespeare's plays, making them easier for younger children to understand.