The Breakneck Hamlet Companion

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About the author:
Timothy Mooney has adapted seventeen of Molière's plays into English verse, seen in the United States and around the world, with many of them published by Playscripts, Inc. Tim's latest adaptation, a rhymed version of Goldoni's "Servant of Two Masters" premiered at the Annapolis Shakespeare Festival in the Spring of 2015. His one-man plays, "Molière than Thou," "Lot o' Shakespeare," and "Shakespeare's Histories: Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace!" are turning a new generation on to Molière and Shakespeare. Mooney's "The Greatest Speech of All Time" recreates actual historical speeches ranging from Socrates to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Previously, Tim taught acting at Northern Illinois University, and published his own newsletter, "The Script Review." As Artistic Director of the Stage Two Theatre, Tim produced nearly fifty plays in five years. Tim inaugurated the TMRT Press in 2011 with his long-awaited acting text, "Acting at the Speed of Life; Conquering Theatrical Style," followed by "The Big Book of Molière Monologues." In 2013, TMRT Press began releasing parts of Tim's one-man catalogue in book form, beginning with "Molière Than Thou" and "Criteria, a One-Man Comic Sci-Fi Thriller!" Last year's release, "Shakespeare's Histories: Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace!" initiated Tim's new line... "Breakneck Shakespeare," which found its fulfillment in his newest one-man show: "Breakneck Hamlet."

The Breakneck Hamlet Companion

An Actor's Notebook

Authored by Timothy Mooney

Shakespeare's rip-roaring revenge drama/thriller, in just one hour with just one man! The greatest play of all time, as presented by the actor/adaptor of "The Greatest Speech of All Time," "Shakespeare's Histories," and "Lot o' Shakespeare!" Thrilling, profound, and still kind of hilarious,"Hamlet"? holds the mirror up to nature like no play before or since!

Timothy Mooney's book takes his celebrated adaptation of Shakespeare's astonishing play and leads the reader through the intimate thought processes of an actor working his way through the "Mount Everest of Theatrical Roles." Mooney discusses the political context not immediately evident to the modern audience, the stylistic expectations that would have seemed natural to the Elizabethan performer and the audience of that time, and his actual process in "making sense of a confusing monologue," from "taking out the goose chase," to reworking inverted constructions, working past extraneous words and finding the through line... essentially deconstructing and reconstructing the monologue before our eyes... until it all seems so very obvious to the reader.

Mooney notes the several clues that lead him to particular character choices which vividly distinguish Claudius from Hamlet, Laertes, Horatio, and others... extremely vivid choices that seem almost demanded by the text when looked at in a certain light.

At the heart of this play is a thorough discussion of Shakespeare's most demanding, intelligent and aware character: Hamlet. Mooney distinguishes the tone of each of Hamlet's several astonishing soliloquies, surfaces the themes that run throughout the play, and examines the different attitudes that Hamlet seems to adopt with each different character to whom he speaks.

Mooney repeatedly drops in surprising bits of historical perspective that has shaped the text, including a discussion of Denmark's brief conquest of England, and the echoes of the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero the resonates on the periphery of this play.

"Brilliant... [Mooney] knows his Shakespeare forwards, backwards and out-of-context... He seamlessly throws in asides, explanations and famous lines as he whirls to the play's conclusion." Jodie Jacobs,

"Fun, Fearless Shakespeare... Cliff Notes on caffeine." Cora Vasseur, Halfstack Magazine

Publication Date:
098318125X / 9780983181255
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Drama / Shakespeare

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