While they’re definitely great podcasts to check out, I do have a new favourite!
I recently discovered The Hurly Burly Shakespeare Show, a fabulous podcast by Aubrey Whitlock and Jess Hamlet, AKA Whamlet. Both are vivacious and highly entertaining ‘lady academics’ – their words, not mine – who use their knowledge and expertise to make the plays accessible to new audiences and inspiring them to enjoy and appreciate Shakespeare’s works.
Both hosts are very engaging and easy to listen to, although the podcast does come with a ‘bawdy language’ warning which would be well heeded by those offended by expletives.
The podcast explores each play at a 101 level, giving the listener all the basics they need to know about that play to help them understand it better. Plot, characters, key themes and points of interest are discussed in a relaxed and relatable way.
Each episode also presents insights into the performance or staging of the plays, dramatic devices used by Shakespeare in crafting his works, and various developments in the worlds of studying or performing Shakespeare.
Some plays are revisited at a 201 level, exploring central themes and ideas at a deeper level.
In addition to exploring Shakespeare’s work, there are some really interesting episodes dedicated to the writing of Shakespeare’s contemporaries – Thomas Kidd, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Johnson, and Thomas Middleton.
The Hurly Burly Shakespeare show is both highly entertaining and informative. It has not only reinforced my knowledge, but also motivated me to read more widely and to expand my knowledge of the world in which Shakespeare lived and wrote.
If you enjoy Shakespeare, or if you’d just like to know more about his work, I recommend this excellent podcast.