Our revels now are ended

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Pacino begins his documentary with a voiceover reciting an extract from The Tempest, whilst the audience sees Pacino in a basketball park, where a boy is shooting balls, an all American pastime-This is juxtaposed with the tolling of the bells and images old world English architecture, ie cathedrals
Our revels now are ended .Pacino substitutes our revel is now at an end

These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, (THE GREAT GLOBE ITSELF) added
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack (WISP) behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. (Tempest IV.i.148–158
PAC” Who's gonna say, "Action around here?

Should I say it, or should you say it ? You wanna say it?

HADGE:- Anytime. You can say it

PAC: I don’t want to say it. Say it

SPACEY: You say it.

KIMBLE: (VOICEOVER)- And action!

PAC- How do I look? I can't see anything.

PAC ( fumbling to find the opening in the curtain in an old style theatre) Are they out there? This is my entrance? (enters stage as if in an audition for the part of Richard 111, with a deformed arm, sees director costumed as Shakespeare, stands frozen. Leaves.)

PAC. f---k!


Various vox populi are incorporated at this point to represent the opinions of the American everyman re Shakespeare and his works

STREET PERSON VOX POP “ I’m actually reading Richard 111 and I can’t get on with it, I’ve been reading it for 6 months. ”

VOX POP (with European accent)“ You want to do it with your American accent?”

BALDWIN: We're getting $40 a day and all the doughnuts we can eat on this project.

STREET PERSON #: Shakespeare? What the fuck do you know about Shakespeare?
The following lines are read by a collection of actors from the Shakespearean play ‘twelfth night’. Depicts are variety of interpretations.

Arise, fair sun...

...and kill the envious moon.

Like eager droppings into milk,

it doth posset and curd.

Some are born great,

some achieve greatness...

...and some have greatness

thrust upon them.

STREET PERSON 2 BLACK AMERICAN “Intelligence is hooked with language . when we speak with no feeling we get nothing out of our society. We should speak like Shakespeare. We should introduce Shakespeare into the academics. You know why? Because then the kids would have feelings.

PAC” that’s right!”

ST. PERSON 2 “so we have no feelings. That’s why it’s easy for us to get a gun and shoot each other. We don’t feel for each other, but if we were taught to feel, we wouldn’t be so violent.

PAC “ Sk helps us with that?

ST PERSON 2 “ He did more than help us. He instructed us.”

PAC’(asks people on the street ) “Hi.You gonna see the play tonight

YOUNG COUPLE “How much it cost?”

PAC “It’s for free”

YOUNG COUPLE “Okay I’m going”

PAC Okay, thanks a lot. Your first Shakespeare play, you’re seeing?


PAC ” It’ll be interesting, give it a try.”

PACINO (to person 3)“You’ve seen Shakespeare performed?

PERSON 3 “Yeah saw Hamlet’

PAC ”what? did you see it live ? how did you feel about it?”

PERSON 3“ it sucked”

PAC “It sucked??”

PERSON 3”Yeah, it sucked.”

PACINO (speaking to a young man on the street) “is there anything in Shakespeare that makes you think it’s not close to you?” or connected to you in any way?

ST PERSON 4 “Yeah, it’s boring.”

STREET PERSON 5‘A bank in England uses Shakespeare as...

Cover my account number…… See, it's a hologram. They use it as ID to prove it's a real card.

PACINO: I see “What do you think of Shakespeare?”

ST PERSON 5 “He's a great export.”

STREET PERSON # “You know who's moving in on Shakespeare now?” The Japanese!

Because they're kicking the Americans' arse. And they're all interested in Shakespeare all of a sudden.

PAC ( to a little boy) You know Shakespeare? William Shakespeare? We're peddling him on the streets.


KLINE “ I remember our English teacher sending us to see a college production of King Lear. I went with my girlfriend and after 10 minutes of these people... They were doing this kind of Shakespearean acting. We just tuned right out. We made out in the back row and left after intermission”

BRANAGH (who has produced and starred in many Shakespeare movie productions) “I was brought up in a school where Shakespeare was taught in the first instance, very kind of straight forwardly and dully, to be perfectly honest. We read it aloud and it made no sense because there was no connection made.

J. EARL JONES “ my own experience was in the fields in Michigan where I was raised on a farm and an uncle, who was a northern guy, black northern guy, came out of the field one day and started narrating Antony’s speech, the funeral oration.

PAC “from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar ?”

JONES “yeah we’d heard stuff from the Bible, but my first time, as a kid, I was hearing great words, having great meaning.

THE QUEST (displayed on screen, emphasising pacino’s intentions)

KIMBLE: “What brings us to Montreal? To Paris? To London? What takes us into dungeons, to parapets...

PAC: To Japan next.

KIM: To Japan, maybe, is a quest.”

PACINO:” It’s always been a dream of mine to communicate how I feel about Shakespeare to other people. So I asked my friend, Frederick Kimble, who is an actor and writer and also our colleagues, Michael Hadge and James Bulleit to join me, and by taking this one play, Richard 111,and by analysing it, approaching it from different angles,(here Pacino holds up a copy of cliff notes on Richard 111---a contemporary but menial source of understanding of Shakespeare) putting on costumes, playing out scenes, we could communicate our passion for it, our understanding that we have come to, and by doing that communicate a Shakespeare that is how we feel and how we think today. Now that’s the effort we’re going to give it here.

KIMBLE: We’ve done Richard three times. Twice. You did it at the studio, we’ve done it in Boston and we’ve done it on Broadway. (pause)

PAC: At least the head start is that I’ve done it. You’ve done it. But the problem though Frederic is..

KIM: the audience hasn’t done it. That’s who hasn’t done it…,

PAC: The problem is, this is a difficult play.”


PACINO asks people on the streets re their knowledge of Shakespeare, in particular R111. He limps with a disabled leg and arm (similar to sk’s R111)
PAC (asks various street public) “if someone were to ask you about the play, Richard 111, what would you remember about it?

MAN : “To be honest I really don’t remember that much, if anything at all.”

PAC” did you know that Richard 111 had a deformed arm and a deformed back?

MAN “”no I didn’t”

PAC “you didn’t know that?’

MAN: no

The play Richard 111 about the guy with the humpback? (pac is shown limping with deformed arm and leg, down the steps, in 20thC garb) (addresses other members of the public)


MAN2 : You got me there

MAN3 : mmh- mmh

PAC: he was a humpback, one arm, a horse a horse my kingdom for a horse?” remember that? Does that come to mind?”

MAN3 “yes, it does”

PAC ( talking with kimble) I mean nobody knows who Richard 111 is ! nobody!

BULLETT(discussion in car with pacino) no wonder it’s a hard play to get. We need relationships between all those characters. Who can keep it straight!”

PAC “ Well I think the question is what is the understanding? The understanding is, is simply can you follow the storyline and plot?” We’ve provided this kind of doco-drama type thing to inform some of the scenes, so you know where you are. For instance, there’s an early scene with the queen, .( cross to this scene being rehearsed on stage), her brother and two sons, which is outside in the anteroom waiting for the king to call them in because he is inside sick.( cross to this scene being rehearsed on stage) The queen is worried she is afraid the king will die, who is her husband. And when he dies the only ..the only people left to inherit are her two young sons. by the king himself. She has two sons from a previous marriage which are in the scene. And she is afraid that the character I play, Richard 111 of Gloucester, is going to take hold of the situation and somehow manipulate them into thinking that eh, you know, that the kids are…. (during pacino’s voice over we see allen(eliz ) on stage in costume with river, dorset and grey 1,3. (Pac continues to give a 20thC interpretation of the plot. Ends with an uncertainty that it will be too difficult to comprehend)” I’m confused just saying it! I can imagine how you must feel hearing me talking. it’s very confusing . I don’t know why we’re even bothering to do this at all. But eh, we’re going to give it a little try”


After picking up a large, antiquated book of Shakespeare’s works

PAC “Let’s see what we can come up with , first of all let’s work out of a smaller book. This is hard to carry. Oh it’s my entrance ..I see falls into a chair due to the weight of the book. Symbolises the enormity of the task ahead. statement on the accessibility of traditional sk, changes to a more modern, portable copy of sk, more akin to contemporary opinion.

( kimble and pacino discuss how to produce the beginning of act 1. their difference of opinion indicates that sk can be interpretated differently. that different interpretations/productions are possible and viable).

PAC: It's good sometimes that you open it, and it is Richard, it's not Hamlet.

Sometimes in Shakespeare, there's a tendency...to confuse the plays.


KIM: The first act is an act about a sick king,and everybody maneuvering...

PAC: Sure.

KIM ...around. I wish that this play..could begin...on the body...On the sleeping king......Edward IV, your brother, in bed.


KIM: And it pans up and you are standing over him, looking at him.

PAC: Yeah - Yes, but he's alive, the king is alive.

KIM:- Yes.

PAC: (switches to modern rehearsal of these ideas)I would prefer having him off in the distance. I'd like...

KIM:- Good. You can watch him.

PAC:- I'd like to walk...Frederic? Can you get the other end?

KIM: Yeah.

PAC:I'd like... ( addresses people off screen) Hi, how are you?
(Kimble and pacino are going through these ideas on production at Medieval museum, the Cloisters)

PAC: Frederic and I decided to go to The Cloisters... a museum that has a medieval setting... which is very good for us because the play takes place in this period. We thought we'd rehearse the opening scene in this atmosphere.

PAC: We're shooting him. We're shooting him.

PAC (interrupted by tourists) I'll be with you in a minute, if you can just wait for me out there

PAC:- So you're here.

KIM Okay. Okay.

PAC: And here we are.

KIM: Okay. (during this dialogue they are rehearsing one interpretation of the presentation of this scene)

PAC: Now, you're Richard's brother,the sick king, and I'm Richard.

KIM: Okay.

PAC: Yes. I move this way,and you follow me.

Begins 1st .soliloquy

PAC “Now!”

FEMALE SCHOLAR “ how exciting to start the play with “now!” Mmmh! you’d wake your audience up, wouldn’t you? Now!”

PAC (in 20C garb) “Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York 1,1,2

KIM “ it’s a pun (explains the pun ‘sun’ and ‘son’)

The sun of York is the sun in the sky...over the English countryside of York.

York is also your family name, and you are one of three sons of York.

PAC “ let me say it again then” ( location has changed, now a lecture hall, Pacino repeats the opening lines, to a group of students)

“PAC Now .. glorious summer. 1,1,

PAC(talking to scholar again) “ I recently came out and said the opening speech from Richard, to a group of students”

(cuts back to students at lecture hall, Pacino asks the students) “’Our discontent made glorious summer’, anyone know what that means?” (camera cuts to couple kissing in the background)


(cuts back to scholar) who were interested because I obviously meant something, but didn’t know what I meant” (cut back to lecture)“Now is the winter of our discontent” “what am I saying?”

SCH.” (cuts back to scholar, explains) he’s referring to their part in the war of the roses”

(Pacino back at rehearsals in contemporary surroundings with a copy of Cliff notes in his hand! PAC EXPLAINS THE PRIOR HISTORY. Around the table during rehearsals, Pacino explains that it’s necessary to know prior history re the war of the roses. CONSTANTLY EXPLAINS THE PLOT USING A CONTEMPORARY DIALOGUE THROUGHOUT DOCO
PAC: Before the play Richard III starts...we gotta know a little bit about what happened before the play starts. What happened is, we've just been through a civil war.....called the War of the Roses...in which the Lancasters and the Yorks clashed. Two rival families ,and the Yorks won. They beat the Lancasters and they’re now in power. Richard is a York

PAC “My brother, Edward is the king now, and my brother Clarence is not the king, and me, I’m not the king and I want to be! It’s that simple!”

SCH.” Key word clearly is…Right from the start is discontent.”

PAC “ So Richard, in the very opening scene of the play, tells us just how badly he feels about the peacetime world he find himself in and what he intends to do about it.

( continues recital of opening soliloquy in 20Cgarb, at the Cloisters)

“Now is the winter of our discontent

made glorious summer by this son of York

And all the clouds that lour’d on our house

In the deep bossum of the ocean buried”1,1,4.

FEM.SCH. (SK’S LINES ARE JUXTAPOSED WITH A CONTEMPORARY EXPLANATION OF THEIR MEANING )” and part of the trouble is, the war of the roses, the wars of the crown are now over because the crown has been won by the Yorks which means they can stop fighting”

PAC ( continues 1st sol in contemporary garb)

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths.

Our bruised arms hung up for monuments.

Our stern alarum changed to merry meetings.1,1,7

FEM.SCH.”continues explanation what do they do when the fighting stops?”

PAC:(continues 1st soliloquy) “Grim-visaged war..hath smooth'd his wrinkled front.

And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds

To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,

He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber

To the lascivious pleasings of a lute” 1,1,13

FEM SCH.” And you see love making and relations with the other gender, is what you translate your male aggressions into. But Richard111 has a little problem here.

PAC.” But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks

Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass. (recital switches to costume/stage)

RICHARD: I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, deformed “1,1,20.

PAC: deformed! Deformed!!

KIM: He was a hunchback

RICHARD:….Unfinish'd, sent before my time

Into this breathing world scarce half made up

And that so lamely and unfashionable

That dogs bark at me as I halt by them.

Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace.

Have no delight to pass away the time

Unless to see my shadow in the sun

And descant upon mine own deformity. 1,1,27”

KIMBLE “ Shakespeare has exaggerated Richard’s deformity in order to body forth dramatically, physically, metaphorically, expose the corruption of his mind ‘

RICHARD: “And therefore since I cannot prove a lover

To entertain these fair well-spoken days

I am determined to prove a villain

And hate the idle pleasures of these days”1,1,31

KLINE” Richard is always saying now here’s the situation, now here’s what I’m going to do , now watch this and he does it! And they all leave and he says ‘now wasn’t that good?’, was that good or what, did you see how I? this is fun! “

(shot of Edward ill, Richard with him , also shows clarence whilst. voice over reciting his lines)

RICHARD:“Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous

--------- (line omitted)

To set my brother Clarence and the king...

In deadly hate the one against the other.

And if King Edward be as true and just

As I am subtle, false and treacherous,

This day should Clarence...be mew'd up

About a prophecy,that says that G

of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be”.1,1,39

PAC (repeats last two lines in contemporary rehearsal)

About a prophecy,that says that G

KIM: right

PAC “ It says about a prophecy that ‘G’ of edward’s heirs. By G, what does that mean?

KIM “ Clarence, George, duke of Clarence, his first name is really George.”

PAC “whose first name?”

KIM “ Clarence’s, and that‘s why they call him ‘G’, I suggest that you change it to‘C”

PAC (reading lines) “about a prophecy which says that (exaggerating) that ‘C’ of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be” ( Pacino now repeats this line, using the substituted “C” in costume on stage. This is a further attempt to unravel the discrepancies between the language usages which have caused the Shakespearean language to be difficult to decipher for contemporary audiences.)

RICHARD: Dive, thoughts, down to my soul.

Here Clarence comes.”1,1,41

PAC: cut!

PAC (around table, rehearsals in progress) “ see what we’ve gotta do what we should do, is get actors in here, not audition them, just get them in and let them just sit around, just see and read. We’ll have different people read different roles. Hopefully, somehow the roles and the actors will merge. The actors will find the role. An actor will read one part, another actor reads another and hopefully the casting will get done.


VARIOUS ACTORS AROUND THE AUDITIONING TABLE. During the process the confusion and merriment highlights the complexity, even for seasoned actors, of understanding, casting, producing and performing a Shakespearian production

Who's got Dorset?

How about Lord Grey?

Richard will read Dorset.

- He's gonna do Buckingham.

- I thought Jim would do it.

- He's doing Catesby.

- What do I read?

KIM ;Dorset and Grey are the same people.

PAC: Dorset and Grey are the same...?

KIM: Yes.

PAC:You two guys better sit on each other We used two actors in the same part. It'll take us four weeks of rehearsal to figure out what parts we're playing.

PAC “In modern plays, you understand it, it’s there for you but in sk you have an entire company on the stage good actors, not knowing where they’re going, where they are?”

PAC (in restaurant talking with Cox)“ As Americans, what is it that …that thing? That gets between us and Shakespeare? That makes some our best actors just stop when it comes to Shakespeare?

“ the problem with being an American in Shakespeare is you approach it reverentially, we shouldn’t but we do, we have a feeling, I think, of inferiority, to the way it has been done by the British.”

AMERICAN SCHOLAR “ I think Americans have been made to feel inhibited because they’ve been told so long by their critics, by their scholars and by all the commentators of Shakespeare that they cannot do Shakespeare. Therefore, they’ve got it in heads that they can’t. And you become totally self- conscious. I think the great thing about American actors they are not self-conscious. But they are when it comes to Shakespeare because they’ve been told they can’t do it and very foolishly they’ve believed that.

Sir John GIELGUD: ( acclaimed English Shakespearean actor) : Perhaps they don’t go to picture galleries and read books as much as we do! Because I think it’s the effect of how everyone looked and behaved that one got a sort of Elizabethan feeling of the period.

CONWAY (hastings) “experienced classical actors have a few things they can use at a moment’s notice, the understanding of iambic pentameter, for one thing.”


PAC Everybody says, "lambic pentameter.Shakespeare iambic pentameter "What is that supposed to mean?

FEMALE ACTOR: “Some say there are no rules.I say there are certain rules...

...like the iambic pentameter, that must be learned...and can be rejected once you’ve learnt them.

HADGE: "Pentameter" means "meter,"and "pen," meaning "five So there's five beats

BRANNAGH: Which, at its worst, sounds only like:

FEMININE SCHOLAR: "Why, so. Now have I done a good day's work."

BRANNAGH: De-da de-da de-da de-da de-da.

HADGE: And iambic is where the accent goes?

FEMALE SCHOLAR: That's de-tum de-tum de-tum de-tum.

KIMBLE: And five of them: Da-da da-da da-da da-da da-da. Make a pentameter line, five iambs. An iamb is like an anteater. Very high in the back and very short, little front legs. Da-da!

Comparison of iambic pentameter –Kimble-“ anteater”!! (even pacino is bemused!)


REDGRAVE (English SK’N actress)” sk’s poetry and his iambics floated and descended through the pentameter of the soul, and it is the soul, if we like, the spirit of real concrete people going through hell and sometimes moments of great achievement and joy. That is the pentameter that you have to concentrate on, and should you find that reality all the iambics will fall into place” (the stresses of iambic pentameter annunciate the emotional vicissitudes of the character.)

PAC/ BALDWIN ( Richard in costume/on stage with Clarence) Act1,1,41…1,1,72 (the lines from sk are recited whilst the montage of shots further clarifies what is being said)

RICHARD: Dive,thoughts, down to my soul.Here Clarence comes.

Brother, good day. What means this armed guard

That waits upon your grace?

CLARENCE: His majesty

Tendering my safety, hath appointed

This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

RICHARD: Upon what cause?

CLARENCE:Because my name is George.

RICHARD:….Clarence. What is the matter? May I know?

CLARENCE: Yea, Richard, as I know. But I protest as yet I do not. But, as I can learn

he hearkens after prophecies and dreams.

And from the cross-row plucks the letter G.

And says a wizard told him that by G...

His children disinherited should be.

And, for my name of George begins with G,

It follows in his thought that I am he.

These, as I learn,and such like toys as these...

Have moved his highness to commit me now.

RICHARD: Why, so it is, when men are ruled by women.

'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower, Clarence.

‘Tis my Lady Grey his wife, 'tis she

That tempts him to this extremity...

We are not safe, Clarence. We are not safe.

Pacino offers a contemporary explanation of the situation for the audience

PAC: “Now if Richard’s brother Edward was king, right and then he dies. Clarence his other brother is next in line. Right?”

PAC: “No the kids were next in line. After the king’s kids came Clarence”

PAC: “So Richard figures, “let me get rid of Clarence, and then I work out how I get rid of the kids”

RETURNS TO BAL/PAC (in costume on stage) Act 1,1,113…119

RICHARD: Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood

Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

CLARENCE: I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

RICHARD: Your imprisonment shall not be long.

I will deliver you, else lie for you.

Meantime, have patience.


CLARENCE: I must perforce. Farewell.

PAC: (further explanation of plot) “well it looks like Richard’s plan is really starting to work now. He got the king to put Clarence in the tower by poisoning the king’s mind against him. So now he’s got one brother locked up, the other brother, who’s king, is sick. So he’s in pretty good shape now. He can move around. He can manoeuvre. He’s got room

RETURNS TO BAL/PAC ALSO CONWAY AS HASTINGS (in costume on stage) “Act 1,1, 120…129

RICHARD: Go tread the path thou shalt ne'er return.

Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so

That I shall shortly send thy soul to heaven...

GUARD:Prisoner approaching. Prisoner Hastings exeunt.

RICHARD: Who is this? The new-deliver'd Hastings?

HASTINGS: Good time of day unto my gracious lord!

RICHARD: As much unto my good lord Hastings.

Well are you welcome to this open air.

How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?

HASTINGS: With patience, noble lord,as prisoners must.



PAC: (speaking to Harris, a literary scholar) It’s interesting you can do something from Shakespeare, think that you’re feeling it or whatever. You love it and you think you’re communicating it and the person

you said it to has not understood a word you said and you can’t believe that they didn’t get it”

VOX POP : ( young black American) “thoust and you know, just the way it’s worded, sometimes that confuses the people of, you know people of this time period.”


Pacino compares Sk’s language with rap music.

HADGE: “Shakespeare used a lot of fancy words. You know. And it’s hard to understand, grasp those words”

PAC “Excuse me. They’re not fancy words. That’s where we get confused. But they’re poetry. It’s hard to grab hold of some rap slang too. It’s hard to get hold of it until your ear gets tuned. You have to tune up.”

CONWAY: “In a contemporary play someone would say “Hey you go over and get that thing and bring it back to me” That would be the line. When Shakespeare says it “Be mercury, set feathers to thy heels and fly like thought from them to me again”

PACINO/CONWAY (RICHARD/HASTINGS in costume) Act 1,1,139..This is a further occasion when Pacino substitutes a contemporary word whilst reading sk’s text. Line 1,1,139…142 changed from “melancholy” to “sickly”

Shakespeare’s version in italics

HASTINGS (CONWAY) The King is weak and sickly...

HASTINGS: The King is sickly, weak and melancholy

and his physicians fear him mightily.

(Now) By Saint John (Paul), that news is bad indeed.

O, he hath kept an evil diet long.

and later in doco“Warwick’s youngest daughter” to “young Anne” 1,1,156

Richard “For then I’ll marry young Anne”

Richard “For then I’ll marry Warwick’s youngest daughter”

PAC: “You shouldn’t have to understand every single word that’s said. Why? Why? Do understand every- I mean it’s not important. It doesn’t matter. As long as you get the gist of what’s going on. Just trust it you’ll get it.

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