There's a conference coming up next month on Shakespeare and/as Philosophy, organised by Jessica Chiba and Richard Ashby. They were keen to have input on this topic from a theatre maker, not just academics, and we were delighted that Tim Etchells, artistic director of Forced Entertainment, was happy to participate. He couldn't make the dates of the conference, so we arranged that I would interview him on video which will be shown and then responded to during the conference.
The reason for Tim being particularly appropriate is the wonderful Forced Entertainment project, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, in which, over the course of several days, the company retell the stories of Shakespeare's plays, each taking around 45 minutes, and using household objects to stand in for the characters. It's an enchanting concept and the results are - perhaps surprisingly - gripping, affectionate, and moving. Perhaps also surprising is that you start to realise that this is really what all theatre is like and realistic representation is a fairly marginal thing in theatre.
We discussed the development of the project, the agency and artistry of objects, their role as bearers of emotion, the nature of character, the role of the storyteller, the effect on the audience, and what it told Tim about Shakespeare. The video is being edited by Jessica Chiba and you can watch it here: