Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shakespeare Hall of Fame

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's visitor centre at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is creating an all-time Shakespeare Hall of Fame. Thirteen names in total will grace the walls, and you may be surprised who is included and who was left out. Certain individuals seem obvious: Ben Jonson, David Garrick, Laurence Olivier, Sam Wanamaker and Patrick Stewart. Other names might surprise, but certainly fit the bill, like Charles Dickens, Akira Kurosawa, Paul Robeson and Kenneth Branagh. Only two women were chosen: Ellen Terry and Judi Dench. Notable omissions include Helen Mirren, Simon Russell Beale and Edmund Kean. But the biggest travesty of all is the inclusion of Leonardo DiCaprio. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. The Hollywood star who made a mediocre turn, at best, as Romeo in the over-the-top Baz Lurhmann film is one of the chosen few. No doubt it’s all about publicity, but seriously? There has got to be someone else. If you added them all up, you’ll notice that’s only 12. There is an online vote for the 13th slot. Click here to cast your ballet for people like Peter Brook, Sarah Bernhardt or John Gielgud (and maybe write in how DiCaprio should be removed).

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