Shakespeare Solved ®

Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Ewan McGregor and Shakespeare

Should Ewan McGregor do some Shakespeare?


It’s been a long since he played Iago on stage with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello at the Donmar Warehouse, from 2007 to 2008.

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello and Ewan McGregor as Iago
Donmar Warehouse 2007-8

Don’t you think it’s about time he did some more?

The first time I saw Ewan McGregor on screen was in Trainspotting.

To my dying day I will never forget falling out of my seat and gagging almost to the point of vomiting as he plunges headlong into a toilet! 

Since then, I have seen just about every film he has made, and he’s made quite a few.

There are few actors who are as versatile and fearless as he is. I don’t know a lot of actors who could have gone from The Pillow Book to starring as Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

When I saw him in Velvet Goldmine, I was astonished. I thought he should forget about acting, and become a rock star. He is that good. 

I was not surprised when he was cast in Moulin Rouge. I knew from Velvet Goldmine that he could really sing.

Since then he has made some remarkable films, and he is always exciting to watch. You never know what to expect from him as an actor. He was great in the more recent Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. He gives a very moving performance.

I am not surprised that he did Othello for Michael Grandage in 2007. I’m just surprised that he has not done any since.

There are so many roles he would be perfect for: Hamlet, Richard II and Richard III, Henry V, and so forth. Why he has not done Macbeth is a mystery.

I do hope that he decides to do some more Shakespeare, on stage or on screen. I think he would find it very rewarding. I know that he has a busy film schedule, but I’m sure he could do more Shakespeare.

But what Ewan McGregor in some Shakespeare Solved?

I think he would really enjoy acting in the Elizabethan period. 

I could easily see him as one of Shakespeare’s fellow actors, playing different parts in the plays, and sometimes multiple parts in the same play, as was common in Shakespeare’s acting company.

The playhouses were far from polite and quiet, they were very noisy and exciting, and the plays were not like we see today. There was more energy, and the audience was part of the show. The actors played to and played with the audience, encouraging them to make noise and respond to the action on the stage.

I could easily see Ewan McGregor with other great actors, like his former Othello castmate Tom Hiddleston, performing Shakespeare like this. 

With Tom Hiddleston as Cassio

I could see Ewan McGregor as one of the Elizabethans whom Shakespeare knew. He had a brother named Edmund who was an actor. He had a childhood friend who was a book publisher.

Or, what about Ewan McGregor as King James? 

I am writing a version of Othello, which was originally written for and about King James, that features King James very prominently. We know very little about who he really was, and we know very little about Shakespeare. But when their stories are told together, as I am doing, both of them are revealed in new and very surprising ways.

I think an actor as adventurous and talented as Ewan McGregor would love to tell a story like that.

What do you think?

     If you agree with me that he should do some Shakespeare, please 
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