Will Power Creates a Hip Hop Version of Caliban's Speech for RSC's Online myShakespeare Project

By Mark Shenton
26 Jul 2012

Will Power, U.S. performance poet, playwright and hip hop artist, has created a new hip hop version of Caliban's "The isle is full of noises" speech from The Tempest for the Royal Shakepeare Company's online myShakespeare proejct.



It will go live July 27, the same day that the speech will feature as part of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.  This modern take on Caliban's words was specially commissioned for the project.

According to press materials, Power believes that people have different entry points into Shakespeare and his is through the rhythm.  He draws parallels between the rhythm of hip hop and that of Shakespeare, and documents his process through a short four-minute film that can be viewed on YouTube.

The commission is a unique collaboration with composer and award-winning producer, Justin Ellington.  Together they have created full a cappella and instrumental mixes that can be used by others to remix and make their own versions to be shared on the myShakespeare platform.  The track is available to listen to on Soundcloud.

In a press statement, Power commented, "Hip hop is now the widest disseminated form of poetry in history and is accessed all over the world. I have a love of Shakespeare’s verse and I've enjoyed working with Justin Ellington on a classic text, it's been a great collaboration. I'm delighted to be working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the World Shakespeare Festival, and to be given this opportunity to explore Shakespeare in a contemporary way."