CBS Radio Mystery Theater Press Release: March 29, 1976

 

March 29, 1976
FEATURE

 

IAN MARTIN TELLS WHY HE RETITLED SHAKSPEARE’S 
PLAYS FOR “
MYSTERY THEATER” PRESENTATION

Dramatist Ian Martin, who has adapted seven plays by William Shakespeare for consecutive daily presentation on the CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER, starting Monday, April 19, was asked the other day why he had changed the plays’ titles.

“Even though each of the plays is basically Shakespeare,” he replied, “ I’ve had to compress them enormously to fit the 53-minute format of
MYSTERY THEATER . The story is there, virtually all of the well-remembered phrases are there, the characters are there, a lot of the poetry is there, but it would still be unfair, especially to the purists, to use Shakespeare’s titles for these adaptations. I hope I’ve made each play easily understandable and that when people hear them on
MYSTERY THEATER  they will say, ’Gee, that’s a great story and I’m sure that if I went now and saw it in the theater I’d get a lot more out of it’.”

In retitling the plays, Martin has either used lines from the dialogue or made up his own. “’The Assassination’ is an obvious title for ‘Julius Caesar’,” he said. “’Murder Most Foul’ is, of course, Macbeth’s own line. ‘The Love Song of Death’ is my own title for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because I couldn’t find something in the text that

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CBS Radio (IAN MARTIN) … 2
Seemed to fit. ‘Long Live the King Is Dead,’ which is ‘Hamlet,’ is my title too, but don’t ask me to explain it. But I like it. It suggests a million things.

“The Green-Eyed Monster,” ’ which is ‘Othello,’ is Iago’s line in the script. He is the fellow who coined the phrase. ‘Richard III’ has become ‘The Prince of Evil,’ which is how he is described in the play, and ‘Serpent of the Nile’ was Antony’s own fond loving expression for Cleopatra in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’.”
On
MYSTERY THEATER  the retitled Shakespeare plays will be broadcast in the following order: “Murder Most Foul,” “The Assassination,” “The Love Song of Death,” “The Green-Eyed Monster,”Long Live the King is Dead,” “
The Prince of Evil ” and  “ The Serpent of the Nile .”
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