@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.

Breakneck Hamlet and Breakneck Julius Caesar

Tim Mooney

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  • Breakneck Julius Caesar
  • Breakneck Julius Caesar
  • Breakneck Hamlet
  • Breakneck Hamlet

Oct 08-Oct 08, 2017

SUN October 8 | 2:30 PM Breakneck Julius Ceasar
SUN October 8 | 8:00 PM Breakneck Hamlet


NSTC is happy to host Tim Mooney and his breakneck Shakespeare productions - all action and no brooding - the whole play in an hour! Get a discount if you by tickets to both ($25 Regular & $20 Sr/Student)

Breakneck Hamlet
Breakneck Hamlet is "recklessly sliced" from Shakespeare's original, cutting what is usually a four-hour play down to a single hour with a single actor. Mooney's "breakneck performance" reveals Hamlet as a thrilling chameleon, with an immense intellectual capacity and a hilarious, wicked sense of humor. Rather than the usual melancholy Dane, Mooney's Hamlet fights like hell throughout, with barely a second-long pause through the entire performance.
Shakespeare never penned the stage direction "pause" into his plays! When you cut all of the indulgent brooding out of it, what rises to the top are all the exciting political machinations which otherwise get lost. We are suddenly more aware of a delicate and dangerous political battle, between two equally powerful, and equally aware players fighting over who gets to be king.
The intent is to add by subtraction: By removing a dozen actors and three hours of melancholy, we can surface the power that the original Elizabethan audience must have felt. It's like getting the answer key that informs all future readings and gives the modern audience access to what is generally considered to be the greatest play of all time.
And when this play works as a through line of action, we are suddenly aware of the incredible themes delicately woven throughout: again and again, Hamlet defines himself as a man vs. the beasts, as a man vs. an actor, as a man vs. the gods. He faces what it is to kill or to be killed, to choose to be alive, or to accept being dead. The great questions of life are no longer abstract, but faced down amid the furious tilt of great powers in deadly competition.

Breakneck Julius Caesar

"It"s the greatest thing since sliced Caesar!"

Tim Mooney cuts away two hours of asides, diversions and blind alleys, stripping away just the right number of extraneous "trees" to reveal the essential "forest" of Shakespeare's great historical tragedy in this one-man one-hour romp.

Mooney bridges Shakespeare's original language with ongoing narration and wise-guy commentary that keeps the audience in the story with just enough background to understand how this play must have looked to Elizabethan eyes.

At a single taut hour, Breakneck Julius Caesar serves up one of Shakespeare's greatest speeches, the world's most famous assassination, and even a surprise ending! No matter how many times you've seen the play before, you probably won't see it coming!

I didn't quite set out to turn Julius Caesar on its head. I've been performing "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" for about ten years, and it's always been an astonishing speech. I wanted to go back and figure out how Shakespeare gets us to that point, and how (and why) he keeps going. The more that I looked at it, the more I began to realize that the ending of the play, as we are used to seeing it, is simply wrong! I'm keeping Shakespeare's language entirely intact (except for the bridging narrative and the cuts), and this 'new interpretation' lives purely in the inflection of a specific speech at the end.

I put up a lot of resistance to this "new ending!" People are used to seeing Julius Caesar with a very particular interpretation! Any time the movies cast Hollywood heavyweights like James Mason and Jason Robards (as Brutus), there's a certain gravity and sobriety that surrounds that interpretation. But, over the course of reading and seeing this play some half-dozen times, I've always felt something missing, and this new leap into the unknown seemed to be the only way that this work hangs together as a piece.


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