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How can Television Adaptations Work to Promote Understanding of Shakespeare amongst Young Audiences? Kathryn Westwood University of Manchester.

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Presentation on theme: "How can Television Adaptations Work to Promote Understanding of Shakespeare amongst Young Audiences? Kathryn Westwood University of Manchester."— Presentation transcript:

1 How can Television Adaptations Work to Promote Understanding of Shakespeare amongst Young Audiences? Kathryn Westwood University of Manchester

2 ‘the BBC’s mission [is] to inform, educate and entertain’ Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Copy of The Royal Charter for the continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation, p. 3.

3 ‘The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows— (a) sustaining citizenship and civil society; (b) promoting education and learning; (c) stimulating creativity and cultural excellence; (d) representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities […]’

4 ‘the perception is that people won’t watch [“high culture”]’ John Forrest, Interview with Kathryn Westwood: 22/2/2011

5 JF: […] people don’t look for stuff in broadcast, they’re given what they take. […] KW: So TV and the people who put programmes on TV have the power to change […] demand for certain programmes? JF: Undoubtedly. John Forrest, Interview with Kathryn Westwood: 22/2/2011

6 Responses to questionnaire from Walton High School students, 4/03/2011. (As regards to Hamlet) ‘Would you watch the rest of any of the adaptations you have seen today?’ Yes: 33.33% No: 66.66%

7 ‘the poems they say’ ‘the clothes they wear’ ‘it can be hard to follow when they [the characters] ramble on’ ‘when other people don’t like it […] it slows you down’ ‘What is it about studying Shakespeare that can be challenging?’:

8 Adaptations viewed by students:

9 ‘Please indicate the reasons why you preferred it:’

10 Interview with Simon Trinder, Tracy Irish and Kathryn Westwood, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2/03/2011. ‘language essentially is fun - making up stories, poems, rhymes - young children play with language very naturally because that’s how they learn […] – those rhythms and patterns they can enjoy if they’re given permission, if they’re allowed to.’

11 ‘Would you watch the rest of your preferred clip?’ Yes- Hamlet: 33% - Goold’s Macbeth: 41% - Moffat’s Macbeth: 48%

12 ‘I would watch the rest of Macbeth (2) because it was scary and Macbeth (3) because it was modern’ ‘[Macbeth Re: Told] looks like it would be easier to understand in our modern day language’ ‘Hamlet because of David Tennant’

13 ‘explore the enjoyment of speaking these words and the effect they can have theatrically’ ‘the lines [become] secondary which is a very freeing thing [because] when the lines aren’t the paramount thing in the front of your mind they take on […] a deeper meaning’

14 ‘very white, and old, and middle-class’ ‘most of the people at theatre on a Saturday night, […] are there to be seen […] and it’s just not pleasant’

15 ‘[…] it was a very difficult wall to break down from the word go. Students [had] a very thoughtful and dissect-based mind-set. It’s not very often that people come to us here and expect an academic approach […] if you’re fighting against their normal need to kind of sit down and talk things through and come up with theories, you’re not gonna get very far.’

16 ‘They [young audiences] are conditioned to go with the mass […] through marketing’ but are also, ‘the more sophisticated consumers of media’.

17 1 Michele Willems, ‘Verbal-Visual, Verbal-Pictoral or Textual-Televisual? Reflections on the BBC Shakespeare Series’, Shakespeare and the Moving Image) p John Forrest, Interview with Kathryn Westwood: 22/2/2011 ‘in television we are used to terseness’ ‘we’re used to short-term quick snippets’

18 ‘the media are routinely seen as an anti-educational influence, as the deadly enemy of literacy, of morality, of art and culture.’ David Buckingham, Reading Audiences: Young people and the media (Manchester University Press: Manchester, 1993) p. 3.

19 relate to the text in their own terms identify with the characters be entertained.

20 Clips viewed by students: RSC’s/BBC’s Hamlet (2009): U U Goold’s Macbeth (2010): Moffat’s Macbeth (2005): 8VMcHk&feature=related 8VMcHk&feature=related RSC’s/BBC’s Hamlet (2009): U U Goold’s Macbeth (2010): Moffat’s Macbeth (2005): 8VMcHk&feature=related 8VMcHk&feature=related

21 ‘Please indicate the reasons why you preferred it:’ Hamlet(19/44) 43.18% language631.57% images631.57% actors % setting421.05% composition526.31% music % Macbeth (Goold) 2010(12/44) 27% language18.3% images758.33% actors00% setting975% composition758.33% music % Macbeth (Re: Told) 2005(13/44) 29.54% language1076.9% images430.79% actors17.6% setting861.53% composition323% music430.79%


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