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POP MUSIC | POP EYE

Bard-core

May 18, 1997|Dave Jennings, from London

The latest big name to get a techno remix? It's William Shakespeare. The playwright has been given the dance-beat treatment via "To Be or Not to Be," a new single featuring actor Richard E. Grant ("Withnail and I") reciting the "Hamlet" soliloquy over a house track by dance act Orpheus. Grant also sings on the choruses of the song, which will be released in Britain on May 26 by the Japanese label Avex as a teaser for a planned album of Shakespeare readings over music.

"[Shakespeare] wrote lots of songs for his plays," Grant told the English music weekly Melody Maker when asked what the Bard might have thought of this. "And he wrote for a theater that . . . was a huge success in his day. So who knows? The fact that he has survived, and continues to survive with such protean variation shows that there's no end to the possibilities of Shakespeare."

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