Inspiration And Transformation

Last week’s podcast about an uneasy correspondence with Stephen Sondheim prompts this first podcast of 2022! Matt Croke joins us to dig into the question of where artistic inspiration comes from, and how artists transform their influences into art. Featuring comic influences that have inspired the RSC (in both spoken word and musical form); finding more meat on the bone; the importance of acknowledging your influences and knowing what else has been done; how Elvis Costello responded to a similar question of influence; and a parody excerpt from the Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show. (Length 33:16)

The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas

Your new holiday tradition! The complete (unabridged) recording of The Reduced Shakespeare Company Christmas, produced by Connie Blaszczyk for Public Radio International in 1995, which has been unavailable for years and features Adam Long, Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor, and Matthew Croke in a special “live” recording from RSC HQ. Not to be confused with our stage production The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), the RSC Christmas features transmissions from Yule-Sat, Reed’s Happy Wholesome Holiday Poem, Carolers from Hell, just A Little Dickens, the incredibly helpful Carol Complaint Line, almost-25-year-old references, a very minor holiday apocalypse, 12 Tips of Christmas, our epic production of “The Complete Christmas Carol (abridged)”, an exclusive interview with Charles Dickens himself, and ultimately, inevitably, the True Meaning of Christmas. (Length 46:33)

Episode 577. Thanks, Robert Siegel

Long-time journalist and host of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered Robert Siegel retired last week. Robert was the man who first brought the Reduced Shakespeare Company on to the NPR airwaves in 1994 and introduced us to the largest American audience we’d ever had up to that point. To celebrate his retirement, we offer the very first interview we did with Robert on All Things Considered, from June 23, 1994, during which we talk about and perform excerpts from The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), followed by our second interview with Robert, from July 31, 1995, in which we discuss and perform bits from what was then our brand-new show The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Featuring impossibly young voices, zippy tempos, wobbly-sounding keyboards, brief excerpts from our BBC World Service program The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show, unaired outtakes from a piece we produced for NPR’s “In Character” series, and gratitude to a great journalist, network-builder, and friend. #ThanksRobert (Length 27:07)

Episode 545. Prague Shakespeare Company

Guy Roberts, the artistic director of Prague Shakespeare Company, talks about how the company was founded and how Shakespeare is bringing nations and peoples together. Featuring important Spinal Tap influences, the challenge of completing the canon, comparisons between LongLostShakes and The Complete Works…, revelations about the so-called “coast of Bohemia”, an excerpt from the Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show, echoes of Much Ado About Nothing, and the value of making people laugh. Recorded live at the Shakespeare Theatre Association. (Length 15:30)