Mark Rylance Says Shakespeare Should Be Done Like Rap | Playbill

News Mark Rylance Says Shakespeare Should Be Done Like Rap Mark Rylance, who has won three Tony Awards for acting, including one for playing Shakespeare, says actors are doing it all wrong.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph of London, Rylance, inaugural artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in that city, said audiences revere Shakespeare's words too much, and actors deliver his lines too slowly. Rylance, who earned a Tony Award in 2014 for his performance as Olivia in Twelfth Night, said, "If I have a general criticism, which is true of my Shakespeare acting and most Shakespeare acting I hear, is that it is too slow.... It’s too reverent. It is like taking a rap song in 400 years from now that we think is really wonderful and deciding it should be said slowly so all the lovers of rap can hear every word."

Rylance also said he believes young people in "less advantaged" communities who have been brought up surrounded by rap music had less reverence for Shakespeare, but a better emotional understanding of his plays.

Rylance said Shakespeare "did not write literature"; he wrote popular plays for the popular audience, and compared the Bard to The Rolling Stones. "To take a song like 'Honky Tonk Woman' and study it for its literature is fair enough, but if you're going to then revere it as literature I think you're doing a disservice to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who would like it to be revered as a great rock and roll song," he said.

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