Episode 19: Cymbeline (The Movie)

Hey folks! This episode is a film review. Remember when we did that film review episode about MacBender? That was probably the most that Cat and Yoli have ever disagreed with each other, and it got a little #awkward. This won’t be like that, we promise.

Film Poster

Talking Points:

  • Michael Almereyda’s approach to modernizing Shakespeare
  • The best and worst performances in this generally strong cast. (See the full cast list here.)
  • How does this compare to Almeryda’s other well-known modernized Shakespeare adaptation, Hamlet (2000) ?
  • We also compare it to lots of other Shakespeare film adaptations
  • Visual language/ visual puns (ahem. Baz Luhrmann did it best.)
  • Music. (Speaking of music, Yolana makes a mistake and incorrectly identifies this song as being by Bob Marley. The song is actually by Toots & The Maytals. Apologies.
  • Cat quotes from this Entertainment Weekly review.
  • Ed Helms and Ed Harris are totally different people.

Episode 18: The Island Princess

Are you sick of current events in the United States, the UK, or wherever you are right now? Take a 40 minute break from reality with this episode. Bard Times podcast will whisk you away to an Early Modern vacation in a tropical paradise! Bodice-ripping thrills and swash-bucking adventure awaits you in this romance by John Fletcher.

(Full disclosure: this “paradise” is still chock-full of Islamophobia, cultural appropriation, and imperialist politics… so it really isn’t that different from real life in 2017.)

This 2012 edition of the play by Clare McManus is soooo good

Talking Points:

  • Clare McManus’s exceptionally wonderful edition of this play (Arden series)
  • This one scene from The Princess Bride, another classic from the romance genre.
  • Do these characters have any psychological depth? Does it matter if they don’t?
  • This play is obsessed with masculinity and honour.
  • The politics (and sexiness) of religious conversion.

Episode 17: The Spanish Tragedy

It’s the end of 2016, and for some reason, we can’t stop thinking about vengeance, murder, and tragedy. To celebrate, this new episode is all about Thomas Kyd’s influential play The Spanish Tragedy.


Talking points:

  • Bel-Imperia totally rocks
  • Echoes of this play in later tragedies (nb. comparisons to Hamlet)
  • A very tenuous film analogy.
  • Kyd’s use of language.
  • Epic meta-theatre, and a murderous play that’s even better than the one in Women Beware Women!

Episode 16: Doctor Faustus

Hello friends! Sorry about the long lull between episodes. November was a doozy, and we had to go on unofficial hiatus just to cope. We’re back now, and ready to get this podcast back on its feet.

This episode is about Christopher Marlowe’s incredibly popular play, Doctor Faustus. If you’re in the mood to explore more of Marlowe’s plays, why not go into the back catalogue and listen to Episode 2, which was about Edward II?

Doctor Faustus himself, getting that necromancy on.

Talking Points:

  • The ubiquity of the Faust myth and some of the other crucial iterations of that myth. For example: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Mann, and Charles Gounod. Or the classic Faustian myth: the 2001 movie Limitless starring Badley Cooper.
  • A story from This American Life about how people would act if they have superpowers.
  • The play’s protestant theology
  • Breaking Marlowe news! Did he collaborate with Shakespeare on the Henry VI plays? Read more about it here.
  • Everyone should definitely re-watch Shakespeare in Love and enjoy Tom Stoppard’s characterization of Marlowe.

Tune in next episode for Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy!

Episode 15: The Bloody Banquet

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM BARD TIMES! We hope this October episode gets you in the mood for some spooky, creepy, sinful fun.


Talking Points:

  • Julia Kristeva and The Abject
  • Consumption, excess
  • Biblical and Mythological allusions
  • Bad, bad, evil women
  • The Excellent introduction by Julia Gaspar in the Oxford Complete Middleton
  • Horror!!!!
  • Middleton and Dekker’s awesome collaboration